MEMORIAL plaques to commemorate those who lost their lives in tragic circumstances have been taken down by mistake.

As reported in today's County Gazette, the gold laminated plaques, placed on trees in Taunton town centre just before Christmas, were removed without permission on Boxing Day.

Plaques remembered 13-year-old Amy Hofmeister, killed by a speeding motorist 18 months ago; Bethany-Paige Adams, who died in a car crash on the A358 almost one year to do the day; Lloyd Fouracre, murdered in 2005; victims of the 2011 horrific M5 crash; and 40 Commando Royal Marines killed in Afghanistan.

But following a police investigation it emerged today (January 3) that they were taken down by a Britain in Bloom organiser by mistake. It was originally thought they'd been torn down by a yob.

Sgt Andy Murphy, of Taunton police station, said: "I am reassured the plaques were not torn down in a criminal manner.

"I hope all parties can get together and move forward in setting up a memorial."

One of the jobs of Britain in Bloom is to reduce fly-posting.