Crooks who badly damaged the wall of a Woolwich cemetery have been slammed by councillors, who have asked for the public to help nab those responsible.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has appealed for the community to help catch thieves who stole bricks from the boundary wall of Woolwich New Cemetery overnight on Thursday, leaving the authority with a hefty damage bill.

Images taken Friday morning show a large, U-shaped bite measuring several metres across missing from the yard’s boundary wall.

Bricks can also be seen strewn across the ground and arranged in stacks ready to be taken away.

A high visibility jacket can be seen among the mess.

The council confirmed it is working with the Metropolitan Police to find the culprits and appealed to residents who might have seen or know anything about the incident to get in contact.

Council leader Dan Thorpe said he was “disgusted” by the act, which comes at a time when the authority is already being stretched by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m completely disgusted by this act and hope the community can work with us and police to bring these people to justice,” Cllr Thorpe told the local democracy reporting service.

His views were echoed by Plumstead Councillor Matthew Morrow, whose ward includes the cemetery.

“I’m very disappointed by this theft and damage. The cemetery should be respected as a peaceful place to remember loved ones. At this difficult time most people want to support their community, but it seems a few individuals are too selfish to care,” he said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact or call the police on 101.

The New Cemetary site is still in use and sits to the east of the original Woolwich Cemetery.

It contains graves of those who died in explosions at Royal Arsenal as well as the War Memorial and a number of War Graves.