Police in Cornwall have apologised after officers entered a local sandcastle competition with a sculpture of a murdered woman.
The naked female figure had a spade wedged in its back, and the sculpture was surrounded by crime scene tape.
Hannah Toms, a Labour councillor from Falmouth, told BBC Radio Cornwall the sculpture was "in poor taste".
"Some people would have seen it and it may have reminded them of past experiences," she said. "This is a coastal community and people will have lost loved ones in the sea."
Police from Truro won the sandcastle competition at the Cornwall Beach Games on Perranporth beach last weekend.
The organisers of the competition, Cornwall Sports Partnership, apologised for any offence the sand sculpture may have caused: "The Cornwall Beach Games are designed to be a fun and light-hearted event with lots of different organisations taking part."
Devon and Cornwall police said: “A local police team from Truro joined other emergency services in taking part in the beach games, which were a fun event for the local community.
“The sand sculpture competition was entered in good faith and no staff have meant to cause any offence. The event was a great success for all those involved, and if any offence has been caused by the nature of the sculpture, this was never intended and we apologise for that.”
Writing on the BBC Radio Cornwall Facebook page, commenters dismissed the sculpture as "harmless fun".
Patrick McCarthy wrote: "We British/Cornish have always been known for our dark sense of humour, ask any ex serviceman or tin miner, it's one way of dealing with stress."
Another commenter, Daniel Sarge Burt, added: "It's a great way for the police to interact with others and show them as being able to have fun and friendly."
Matthew Champion is a deputy world news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Matthew Champion at email@example.com.
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