Norfolk Police have been left-red faced with embarrassment after making a grave Health & Safety error…

The force made the elementary deduction that gravestones had been “pushed over” in a wanton act of cemetery vandalism. However, they should have consulted Sherlock Holmes before branding the felling action “a disgraceful act of criminal damage”.

It seems the force’s very own Inspector Clouseau correctly deduced some 50 gravestones had been deliberately knocked over. However, Norfolk Police appealed for information in hunting the vandals only to discover the stones had been moved by the council for Health & Safety reasons!

In a firm rebuttal, Holt Town Council, who own the cemetery, said the affected headstones had been “very respectfully laid down” due to safety fears over their condition. The council had noticed a couple of headstones were in a “very bad state” and an emergency inspection was triggered.

Town clerk Elaine Oliver said about 50 gravestones were found to be “very dangerous and wobbly”. They were believed to have been tested one by one to see if they could topple over. Any in danger of falling on members of the public were laid flat.

Norfolk police stated on Twitter that “Further enquiries had revealed that the 50 gravestones that have been pushed over have been done by the council”. Inspector Clouseau was unavailable for comment.

Contact Ellis Whittam’s Sherlock Holmes to make sure your organisation is not left red-faced with Health & Safety!

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