POLICE are on the hunt after callous thieves stole a number of wreaths from Kilwinning Cemetery.

The shocking thefts took place in the lead up to Christmas with four separate wreaths being taken from gravesides at the cemetery in Bridegend Lane in the town.

The incident was first raised on social media by Kilwinning Community Council and they also urged anyone who might have seen anything to contact the police.

Chief Inspector Colin Convery, Area Commander for North Ayrshire, said: “This is a despicable crime that will have a significant impact on the family and friends of those the wreaths were laid in memory of.

“Local officers are conducting enquiries into these incidents but I would appeal to anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area to please make contact with us. Christmas can be a difficult time as we reflect on the past and remember those who are no longer with us - we are keen to work with the community to identify those responsible for this crime and bring them to justice.”

Anyone with information on these incidents are encouraged to contact Police Scotland by calling 101 and quoting incident number 1299 of 19th December 2018. Information can also be passed via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be maintained.