Man arrested after poppy wreaths thrown from war memorial

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A man has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after around 50 wreaths were thrown from a war memorial.

The vandalism, at the Cenotaph War Memorial in Regent Circus, Swindon, is believed to have happened at 4.38am on Saturday.

Officers on patrol discovered the poppy wreaths had been thrown on the street in an 80-metre radius of the memorial.

A 54-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and taken to Swindon Police Station for questioning.

The man was still in custody on Sunday evening, the force said.

Inspector Rachel Hardy said: “This incident has understandably caused a huge amount of upset to our local community and officers have been working tirelessly to identify the person responsible.

“Whilst we have made an arrest, we continue to appeal to anyone who may have information on this incident to call us.”

Following the incident Swindon South Police posted on Facebook: “This was a mindless act of vandalism and shows complete disregard for those service men and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice in service of this country.

“Enquiries are ongoing and we urge that anyone who was in the area at the time that has any information that could assist the police to contact 101 and ask to speak to SPC 4448 Scott-Barrett regarding CRN 54190003682.”

Within four hours, the post had been shared more than 1,000 times and received more than 300 comments.

Chief constable Kier Pritchard urged people to identify those responsible.

He tweeted: “This is a total disgrace.

“I laid our @wiltshirepolice wreath at this Cenotaph on Sun 11th Nov 2018 alongside many war veterans to show respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to provide the freedoms we enjoy today.

“Name those involved and help us identify them.”

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