Police have launched an appeal after ‘mindless’ vandalism at a cemetery left headstones damaged.

Over the past week there have been several incidents of vandalism at Tomnahurich Cemetery in Inverness.

As well as ‘several’ headstones being pushed over, six wheelie bins were set on fire and two benches destroyed by fire. 

Highland Council said that, as well as the danger posed to members of the public due to uncontrolled and illegal fires, “the emotional distress to relatives of the deceased is totally unacceptable”.

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The council is urging locals and visitors to the cemetery to report those committing acts of vandalism to Police Scotland.

Cllr Graham MacKenzie, Chair of Highland Council’s Communities and Place Committee, said: “It is extremely disappointing to see the recent incidences of vandalism at Tomnahurich Cemetery.

The Herald: Aftermath of one of a number of wheelie bin firesAftermath of one of a number of wheelie bin fires (Image: Highland Council)

“The damage caused to headstones is particularly distressing for those visiting loved ones and we would urge anyone who saw anything or who has information to report it to Police Scotland.”

He added: “Fire raising, while not only criminal, is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money as the bins which have been destroyed cost money to replace, at a time when Council budgets are under real pressure.”

Police Scotland Sergeant Brian Bisset, said: “Vandalism to any place of rest is not only mindless, but frankly inexcusable. It is very upsetting for the families of loved ones who are no longer here.

“Fire raising is also a very serious issue and poses a legitimate threat to members of the public, property, and the environment.

“It is vital that people come forward with any information about those responsible. Local officers work closely with partners to address such issues to find meaningful long-term solutions to prevent these issues from arising.”