Poppies planted by Grantham war memorial were not destroyed by vandals, say police

Ged McKnight plants poppies in St Peter's Hill.
Ged McKnight plants poppies in St Peter's Hill.
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Police investigating reports of vandalism at the war memorial in Grantham town centre have today announced no crime was committed.

Officers believe the poppies removed from soil in front of the St Peter’s Hill memorial last month were, in fact, removed by a council employee or “well-meaning member of the public” as the flowers had died off.

Lincolnshire Police launched an investigation after receiving reports of vandalism, which claimed the poppies and several Remembrance crosses had been torn out. It was alleged to have happened on the 100th aniversary of the start of the First World War, leading to an outpouring of anger from Grantham people on social networking sites.

Cafe owner Ged McKnight went on to be hailed a hero when he took it upon himself to plant wild poppies in place of those removed to “restore the faith of the people of Grantham”.

A statement released by the force to the Journal today reads: “After having made thorough enquiries it is now believed that the poppies at the memorial had been removed either by employees of the local authority or by a well-meaning member of the public because they had died off and looked unsightly. Is it thought that a report alleging someone had been seen vandalising the memorial was in fact unfounded.

“As a matter of interest, some replacement poppies planted by a local businessman had died off within days.

“Lincolnshire Police takes seriously any reports of vandalism or criminal damage and appreciates that this incident, as first reported, caused a great deal of concern in the area. We are satisfied that the incident has been fully investigated and reports of vandalism were unfounded.”