POLICE have launched an investigation after damage was caused at the site of Roman remains in North Yorkshire.

Sometime overnight on April 14 and 15, access was gained to the archaeological dig in Eastfield with damage caused to fencing and the land itself. It is not yet known if anything was stolen from the site.

An excavation was carried out at the Keepmoat Homes site in Eastfield after Historic England suggested there was the potential for Roman or Iron Age remains to be found there. A large complex of buildings was revealed, including a circular central room with a number of other rooms and a bath-house leading from it.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: “Our area’s rich heritage, dating back to when the Roman Empire was governed from York, and even earlier, is part of the reason why this is such a wonderful place to live and visit.

“Sadly, heritage crime can cause huge damage to assets of great historical interest. Indeed, the cost to communities of heritage crime is often immeasurable, resulting in the loss of artefacts to future generations.

"We need to work together to protect these sites, so that others can continue to enjoy them for many years to come.”

Heritage Watch is a scheme in North Yorkshire and York which aims to fight crime and anti-social behaviour at heritage sites by improving communication between people who take a keen interest in heritage, those who live near such sites, and the police.

These people are likely to frequent areas of historical interest more often, and be able to notice anything suspicious or out of the ordinary in these areas.

You can help protect our heritage:

  • Be aware of where the heritage sites and artefacts are in your community – you can find information at historicengland.org.uk
  • Keep an eye out for precious sites and artefacts
  • Report any concerns to the police on 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference 12210098319.