At the end of last year, I called for Sutton Council to lobby the Government to make criminals who vandalise War Memorials face a harsher punishment to take into account the particularly heinous nature of the crime. This followed the desecration of Carshalton War Memorial. The motion at Council received unanimous backing from councillors of all parties.
Only a month before Remembrance Sunday a callous thief ripped valuable York stone slabs from the 80 year-old landmark memorial located next to the Carshalton Ponds. Last month Samuel Ware, 22, was convicted of criminal damage at Croydon Crown Court and sentenced to two months in prison. The sentence has compounded the call for tougher sentences to be created by a legally distinct new criminal offence. As the law presently stands vandalism to war memorials is treated as conventional criminal damage.
Sutton Council wrote to the Prime Minister on 23rd November and received a standard response Number 10's 'communications unit' on 6th December. The letter said that the request had been passed to the Home Office for further consideration. As of today - three months on - no response has been received prompting accusations that this serious request has been ignored.
I am dismayed that we haven't had a response from the Home Office yet and fear our request has fallen by the wayside. People who desecrate war memorials are the scum of the earth. The violation of these monuments deserves separate recognition in the criminal law with appropriate punishments attached.
Gordon Brown loves to postulate when it comes to protecting Britishness but let's see him put his money where his mouth is. Let me know if you agree with me that he should back our call for a new criminal offence of vandalising and desecrating our war memorials.