POLICE caught a person illegally metal detecting at one of Colchester's most important archaeological sites.

Following up on reports from members of the public Essex Police's Colchester team caught the person at Gosbecks Archaeological Park, off Maldon Road, on Wednesday.

Gosbecks is a Scheduled Ancient Monument as it is one of the most significant Iron Age and Roman sites in the country.

It is also a popular walking route for residents and home to a population of nesting skylarks.

A spokesman for the force said on Facebook: "Thanks to the vigilance of the public, quick work by the rural engagement team and #EPColchester a person who was unlawfully metal detecting on a Scheduled Ancient Monument at Gosbecks was apprehended.

"These offences cause untold damage to our ancient sites not to mention the artifacts which are stolen purely for personal gain.

"Artefacts were recovered and detecting equipment has been seized.

"The individual has been reported for relevant offences."