PICTURES: ‘Body may be buried in Thornton garden’, caller tells police

An overgrown garden is being cleared after police were told a body may be buried there.

Officers have spent the morning working at a boarded up house in Knowsley Crescent following the report, police said.

Police outside a home in Knowsley Crescent,Thornton

Police outside a home in Knowsley Crescent,Thornton

A blue tent has been erected in the home’s front garden, as has a large blind, while one neighbour said a tent is also being put up in the back garden.

Several large bags, believed to contain grass and other garden cuttings, were also pictured in the garden, while a sniffer dog was taken into the back at around 3pm.

The neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said officers first turned up at around 9.30am.

“We just saw a blue van and CSI (crime scene investigators) pull up,” he said. “At first, we thought it was something to do with drugs.

Police outside a home in Knowsley Crescent,Thornton

Police outside a home in Knowsley Crescent,Thornton

“It’s normally quiet around here.”

A family was living inside the home until around two months ago, when it was vacated, the neighbour added.

Police did not say when the call reporting the possible body was made, though today’s search is thought to be the result of an on-going investigation.

It is not linked to Paige Chivers or Charlene Downes, a spokesman stressed.

Officers are working in the house's back garden too

Officers are working in the house's back garden too

Jim Lawrenson, who has been county councillor for the area for the past 10 years ago, said: “It’s come as a massive shock.

“Knowsley Crescent was a part of the council estate many years ago.

“It went downhill very badly around 30 years ago but I think it’s recovered now.

“In the last 10 to 20 years, it has become very mellow and quite a nice place to live. It’s not a place where you would expect something like this to happen.”

Tents have been erected at the boarded-up property, which one neighbour said has been empty for two months

Tents have been erected at the boarded-up property, which one neighbour said has been empty for two months

In a statement, a spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We are at an address in Knowsley Crescent, Cleveleys.

“We are making an initial assessment of the rear garden in order to establish whether it is a crime scene.

“We will assess the area and if necessary, we will decide on the next step in the search process.

“It is likely officers will be at the scene for the rest of the day and overnight.

“The investigation and activity is not related to the search for Charlene Downes and Paige Chivers, and we are in the process of informing their families of this fact.”

MORE TO FOLLOW

Officers are searching for a body after getting a tip-off

Officers are searching for a body after getting a tip-off

One neighbour said officers began to turn up at around 9.30am

One neighbour said officers began to turn up at around 9.30am

The blue tents are clearly visible from the street

The blue tents are clearly visible from the street