There has been an angry reaction after a 21-year-old man urinated on a war memorial in Bristol and has only been given a caution for the offence.
It was reported in the media that the male was arrested at 2.20am on Remembrance Sunday while carrying out the act in the Colston Avenue monument, and according to a police statement he will have to write a letter of apology to the Royal British Legion and attend a ‘victim awareness course.’
Yes, you read that correctly.
We accept that a jail term may have been ‘heavy handed’ given the nature of the offence, but surely some kind of community work would have matched the amount of upset that was caused – especially seeing that it happened on the main date of remembrance.
The statement from Avon and Somerset Constabulary read:
“A 21-year-old Bristol man arrested after committing an offence at the Cenotaph in Bristol this morning has been released with a conditional caution.
“He was arrested at about 2.20am this morning after he was witnessed urinating on the war memorial in Colston Avenue.
“He has been arrested on suspicion of outraging public decency.
“He has been released with a conditional caution with a requirement that he attends a victim awareness course, which he will have to pay for.
“He is also required to send a letter of apology to the Royal British Legion.
“If he fails to comply with the conditions of the caution his case will be referred to the courts.”
Before we all go and blame the police for this, it is of course possible that the force’s hands were tied by other circumstances, and we should also praise all of our nation’s police forces for the sterling work they carried out on Remembrance Sunday to keep us all safe.
However, looking at some comments online about the incident, it is clear that people would have preferred a stronger punishment.
Yes it will go further if he doesn’t comply with this ‘punishment,’ but many feel that going before the courts would be more appropriate in the first instance.
It isn’t the first time that the Bristol cenotaph has been in the news – read on to find out how local youths have been using it as a skatepark.
There has been a great deal of anger after teenagers in Bristol started using a newly-reopened war cenotaph as a skatepark.
The memorial area in Colston Avenue was only reopened to the public on Friday, two days before Remembrance Sunday, after renovations had been carried out.
However, much to the disgust of locals, teenagers started using the area as a skatepark almost immediately, with some steps even being ‘greased’ to make it easier for skateboarding tricks to be carried out.
Many have expressed their anger at such a disrespectful act towards the people that the memorial represents.
According to a report in the Bristol Post:
Skateboarders have turned the space around a Bristol war memorial into a new skate spot just hours after it reopened.
Temporary fences were taken down around the Cenotaph in Colston Avenue on the morning of Friday, November 10, after more than a year of the area being closed for Metrobus works – just in time for the Remembrance Day Parade and Service on Sunday, November 12.
The renovation includes a number of flower beds with concrete edges, large steps for people to sit on and several benches.
However, with its flat surfaces, ledges and drops the concourse around the memorial is perfect for skateboarding and within just five hours of its reopening tens of young skaters had occupied the space.
Michael Ching, a passer-by who saw the skaters, said: “The city centre around the cenotaph has just opened not less than five hours and already skateboarders are all over the cenotaph and flower beds.
“It’s bloody disgraceful and disrespectful.”
We know that these people seem to take a great amount of pleasure out of irritating the general public by getting their boards out wherever they bloody well like, but this is one act of disrespect too far as far as we are concerned.