POLICE are investigating after dozens of Christmas wreaths were dumped near Irvine beach.

The wreaths were spotted by dog walkers on Boxing Day – just days after wreaths were stolen from graves at Kilwinning Cemetery on December 19.

Police say they cannot confirm if the two incidents are connected and they are still trying to find out where the Irvine wreaths came from.

Sergeant Jason Peter from Irvine Police said: “We had a report of wreaths being dumped at a location near Irvine Beach. Enquiries are still ongoing to establish where the wreaths have come from. We are not sure if this is a theft or a flytipping incident.

“Enquiries are ongoing as to whether this incident is connected to the incident in Kilwinning where wreaths were stolen from graves in the cemetery but we are still investigating.”

The shocking thefts from the Bridgend Lane cemetery saw four separate wreaths being taken from gravesides.

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 the theft from the cemetery was “despicable”.

He 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.”

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.