‘Mindless’ vandals target war memorials


Vandals desecrated war memorials in the Garden of Memories over the weekend.

Some time overnight on August 31, a plaque displaying the names of those who lost their lives in World War 2 was spray painted with phallic symbols.

Offensive writing was also spay painted around the concrete base of another memorial in the Garden of Memories.

Constable Greg Marsden, of the Oamaru police, said it appeared the culprits had walked around the areas of Severn, Itchen and Hull Sts emptying a can of spray paint.

Constable Marsden said two vehicles parked in Hull St were spray painted with an offensive symbol in white enamel.

A third vehicle parked in the same street was also targeted, but with grey enamel paint.

While the spray paint on the vehicles was mostly able to be washed off, the vandalism to the memorials was more difficult to remove.

“Painting over the names of people who gave their lives for the country – it’s sick, in my personal opinion,” Mr Marsden said.

RSA Otago Southland district president John Longman was “extremely disappointed” to discover the damage yesterday.

“I believe it is time for the Oamaru public to step up, catch these people and name and shame them publicly,” he said.

Waitaki District Mayor Alex Familton said the nature of the vandalism was “unbelievable”.

“It’s totally abhorrent that anyone would be so mindless… It’s just mindless vandalism,” he said.

“I do hope people are caught and the punishment does bring them round to realise how stupid and unacceptable their actions are.”

Anyone who saw anything suspicious on Saturday night or Sunday morning, should contact the Oamaru police on 03 433 1400 or give information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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