POLICE are treating thefts at Ilkley cemetery “very seriously”, they have said.

Officers have been made aware of a number of thefts which have occurred at Ilkley Cemetery over recent days.

They are now urging any potential witnesses to come forward.

Sgt Shaun Leeson, Ilkley Ward Sergeant, said: “These crimes understandably have had a profound impact on the families who visit the graves of their loved ones. The offences appear to have targeted different and unrelated graves.

“We are treating these incidents very seriously and, since the initial reports, have deployed officers on both high visibility and plain clothes patrols, at varying times of the day and night.

“This is in an attempt to both prevent further offences and identify a suspect.

“I would urge anyone with information to contact us or if anyone witnesses any suspicious activity or any offences in progress to contact us on 999.”

Police can be contacted on 101, or at westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat.

Crimestoppers can also be contacted, anonymously, on 0800555111.

Anyone with information must quote crime reference number 13220244011.