Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

'Mindless' vandals hit cemetery

Lothian and Borders Police logo
Police are appealing for witnesses

More than 25,000 of damage has been caused at a historic Edinburgh cemetery in what police have described as a "wanton and mindless act of vandalism".

Eight headstones were damaged and railings surrounding two tombstones were smashed at the Canongate Kirk, on the city's Royal Mile.

The incident was reported to Lothian and Borders Police on Wednesday but it is not known exactly when it happened.

Many notable figures are buried at the kirkyard, such as economist Adam Smith.

"Mindless vandals"

Officers have called for anyone with information to come forward.

A police spokesman said: "This was a wanton and mindless act of vandalism that has caused an estimated 25,000 worth of damage, and we are keen for any information that can help us track down whoever is responsible.

"Anyone who witnessed the vandalism take place, or who has any other information that can assist police, should get in touch immediately."

Councillor Robert Aldridge, environment leader at Edinburgh City Council, said: "I am utterly appalled by the scale of this despicable and wanton vandalism, which has caused several thousand pounds worth of damage to one of Edinburgh's most historic graveyards.

"We are working closely with the police to ensure that the mindless vandals who are responsible are brought swiftly to justice."

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