A cemetery has been closed to the public while an inquest into the death of a man who died after being restrained by police continues.

Earlier this week, residents were told the closure of the council-owned Queen’s Road cemetery in Walthamstow was “a police matter”.

When contacted, the council and the cemetery manager could not confirm anything other than the closure being a “police matter” and that no damage or vandalism of the cemetery had occurred.

But now the Metropolitan Police have confirmed the cemetery has been temporarily closed while officers look into matters raised during an  inquiry being held at the adjacent Walthamstow Coroner’s Court.

The case of Edir da Costa, a 25-year-old man who died in June 2017 after being restrained face down and pepper sprayed by police in a car stop in Newham, is currently a week into proceedings and is due to continue into next month.

Da Costa died  in hospital six days after the stop and the inquest into his death is due to feature up to 40 witnesses in front of a jury.

Paramedics who treated Da Costa on scene at the time found a plastic bag filled with wraps of drugs in his airway. He was taken to intensive care but died six days later.

The cemetery is expected to be reopened to the public on Friday May 17.

The notice pinned to the cemetery gates announcing its closure said: “Dear visitor, due to unforeseen circumstances Queen’s Road Cemetery will remain closed from Tuesday May 7 to May 17, 2019.”

The notice went on to state those with further enquiries should contact the cemetery manager.

A spokesman for Waltham Forest Council said: “Queens Road Cemetery in Walthamstow has been temporarily closed at the request of the police.

“The cemetery would not have been closed unless it were absolutely necessary, and we would like to reassure the community that we expect it to reopen after Friday, May 17 and that no damage or vandalism has occurred.

“We thank residents for their understanding while the police carry out their important work.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “The cemetery has been temporarily closed while officers are carrying out investigations into matters that were raised as part of the Da Costa inquest.

“There are no new criminal concerns, please refer to the coroner’s court.”

Walthamstow Coroners’ Court has been contacted for comment.