Police have begun digging up a village graveyard in Wiltshire as they launch an “archaeological investigation”.
Officers put up forensic tents and a crime scene cordon around 15 graves at St Andrew’s Church in Collingbourne Ducis, Wiltshire.
Police swarmed the churchyard early on Monday morning (17 October) as they set up for the planned dig.
Four police officers were seen standing guard over the cordon on Tuesday as three crime scene investigators and a CID detective worked directly in front of the church’s main doors.
Fresh soil could be seen thrown on a tarpaulin over two graves next to one of the forensic tents - a clear sign that a dig at the site is getting underway.
A concerned local, who was walking his dog in the area, said: “It’s worrying but police say there’s nothing to worry about.
“It’s hard not to be concerned when they’re digging up the graveyard just round from my house.
“My mum is buried there but her grave is just outside the cordon, so I don’t have to worry too much. Still, it can’t be a nice experience for others.
“You can see soil thrown across graves. It must be upsetting for those with relatives there, especially if they can’t visit them for however long – weeks maybe.”
In a statement, Wiltshire Police said: “This work relates to an archaelogical investigation of a site conducted at the request of Wiltshire Police.
“Relatives of those whose graves are nearby have been informed.
“This should not cause any disruption to the public, with the route remaining open for pedestrians.”
No details about the operation were released by the force, who appear to be keeping any information about the probe under wraps for now.
The sleepy village of Collingbourne Ducis is situated on Salisbury Plain north of Tidworth, with a population of around 1000 people. The busy A338 runs through the small Wiltshire village.
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