Police slam “mindless” vandals after war memorial poppies destroyed in Sunderland arson attack

Poppy wreaths from the Silksworth Park War Memorial have been burnt at the rear of the bandstand.
Poppy wreaths from the Silksworth Park War Memorial have been burnt at the rear of the bandstand.
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Police have slammed “mindless” vandals who burned poppy wreaths stolen from a Sunderland war memorial.

The Echo revealed yesterday that wreaths had been removed from the cenotaph in Silksworth on Saturday night and set alight.

Silksworth Park War Memorial.

Silksworth Park War Memorial.

Now Northumbria Police have appealed for anyone with information to get in touch.

Neighbourhood Inspector Tony Carty said: “Officers are making enquiries into this incident and are liaising with the council.

“We know that people will have been upset by this mindless act of vandalism and we are appealing for witnesses, and would ask anyone with information to come forward.”

News of the incident sparked anger on the Echo’s Facebook page.

Poppy wreaths from the Silksworth Park War Memorial have been burnt at the rear of the bandstand.

Poppy wreaths from the Silksworth Park War Memorial have been burnt at the rear of the bandstand.

June Humphries wrote: “Come on, someone knows who they are. They are just scum and not clever at all. These morons will never do anything or be anything,” while Becki Roberts added: “Those people have no hope and are a drain on society. I imagine if any ex-army lads/lasses found out who did it, they wouldn’t dream of doing it again.”

Olwyn Ford was disgusted: “This really makes me sick!!! Rotten to the core!!” while Casper J Safc said: “I’m a veteran. I find this utterly disgusting.”

Cath Stacey called those responsible ‘disgusting scumbags,’ while Natalie Johnson Newman said they had ‘no respect and morals!!’

“Police received a report of an incident on Saturday, December 17, at approximately 9.30pm when poppy wreaths laid at the war memorial in Silksworth Park, at the rear of the band stand, on Blind Lane in Sunderland, had been set on fire,” said a Northumbria Police statement.

Poppy wreaths from the Silksworth Park War Memorial have been burnt at the rear of the bandstand.

Poppy wreaths from the Silksworth Park War Memorial have been burnt at the rear of the bandstand.

“Officers are treating this as an act of arson and are investigating. A number of wheelie bins had been dragged to this location and also set on fire and officers are also making enquiries into this related matter.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101, quoting reference number 380 of 20/12/16 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.