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By Nigel Slater Thursday 08 November 2012 Updated: 08/11 13:33
VANDALS who defaced a war hero's memorial bench have been described as idiots by devastated members of a naval group.
Benches at Pershore's Commemorative Garden were graffitied with marker pens between 2pm on Thursday (November 1) and 1.50pm on Friday (November 2) including one dedicated to Shipmate Percy Newell who was a much-loved figure in the town.
The commemorative garden, which honours the Armed Forces, opened last year but has been targeted several times with some of the benches damaged or scrawled in graffiti.
Members of the Pershore and District Royal Naval Association have been left heartbroken by the vandals actions especially with Remembrance Sunday just around the corner and are urging witnesses to come forward.
Group treasurer Shipmate Terry Brimmell said: "The damage at the Commemorative Garden has shocked and hurt us deeply in particular the damage to Percy Newell's Memorial Bench during the period of Remembrance.
"It took years to raise £10,000 to build this open air Memorial Garden to our Armed Services and we'd hoped that it would be always treated with respect.
"We've never minded young people sitting there but within weeks it was damaged. On June 4 this year, the stone had red liquid thrown at it which stained the stone plaque.
"Pershore is a lovely town which we are all proud of and 99 per cent of our youngsters are well behaved and respectful. But it only takes a handful of idiots to spoil it but we are hopeful that the culprits will be swiftly brought to justice."
As well as the vandalism, the lack of CCTV on the site is a matter deeply concerning members of the Pershore and District Royal Naval Association despite them making numerous requests for it to be installed.
Mr Brimmell added: "We have made several requests for CCTV to be installed as a deterrent over the last 18 months but this has fallen on deaf ears. We shall no longer rest until we do get CCTV there, whatever it takes."
Dave Hemming, community safety manager at Wychavon District Council said there were no more funds in place to provide CCTV on the site.
"The garden is being regularly visited by myself, the detached youth team and the police, to try and avoid anything like this occurring in the future," he said.
"Unfortunately we have no further budgets to extend our CCTV, however we have suggested to the person who reported the graffiti that Pershore Town Council could look at using their New Homes Bonus allocations to pay for some if they require something on a permanent basis."
Anyone who saw anything suspicious or has information should call police on 0300 333 3000 quoting 295S 021112.
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