Sick yobs torch poppy wreaths stolen from war memorial in Sunderland
Sick yobs stole and burned poppies from a Sunderland war memorial.
Wreaths were taken from the memorial in Silksworth on Saturday night and set alight near the bandstand in the park.
A dog walker discovered the damage on Sunday morning.
Silksworth British Legion chairman Bob Newton said was appalled by what had happened: “It is disgusting,” he said.
“I passed by in the morning and there are virtually no wreaths left on the cenotaph.
“At first, I was wondering whether they had been taken by the parks team, but they would not have done that after just a month.”
The arsonists would have had to lift the tributes off the memorial, he said.
“The council has put in brackets to hold the wreaths this year, so they would have had to lift them out of the brackets. They must have taken them out deliberately.
“We have had people using the park to drink and take drugs - I don’t know if there’s anything you can do about it.”
One resident, who did not want to be named, said she had seen three youths going into the park on Saturday night and had heard what she believed was a bin being dragged in.
“I saw them going into the park about half past nine on Saturday night and I could hear them pulling a bin,” she said.
“I went into the park on Saturday morning and I picked up the back of a poppy wreath and put it back on the memorial - then I saw there was another six of them. I had to take them in two lots.
“There were 28 wreaths on the memorial before - now there are six. They burned the poppies at the back of the bandstand. They must have stood on the steps.”
Silksworth ward councillor Phil Tye said: “It is shocking, that is all I can say.
“I will work with all our partners to find the people who did this and identify them.”
Northumbria Police were not available to comment.