‘Despicable’ war graves vandals hunted by police
ANZAC headstones are sprayed with blue paint
POLICE are ‘actively hunting’ the sick individuals who have desecrated Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) graves in Harefield.
Headstones were daubed with blue paint at the weekend in the second attack at the cemetery this year, following an incident in May when a flag pole was sawed and a memorial panel was peppered with paint.
Harefield councillor Jane Palmer, who discovered the latest outrage on Sunday, said she was reduced to tears.
She said: “The ANZAC graves are a very, very big part of Harefield village. It’s something we’ve been brought up with and brought up to respect and when they’re desecrated like that people take it very, very seriously.
“The community will come together as a result of it and they’re very angry at what’s been done. People were coming down to look at it while I was there and were, obviously, visibly moved by it.”
Cllr Palmer is liaising with police and is calling on Hillingdon Council to do something to protect the community from future incidents.
She added: “The community can be assured that myself and my fellow ward councillors will be doing all we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Rob Bryan, Neighbourhood Inspector for Hillingdon North, called the spray paint attack “despicable” and said anyone with information should not standby and do nothing but should contact police immediately.
He said: “The desecration of war graves is a despicable crime and we will be actively hunting those responsible.
“I would ask anyone who has information that could solve this crime to make contact with us, either by contacting me at email@example.com or by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously.
“I directly appeal to those responsible to do the right thing and hand themselves in now.”
Julie Whelan, who regularly visits the churchyard and has a relative buried there, said she was saddened and horrified.
She said: “I find it hard to believe that anyone who grew up in the village would be so disrespectful, given that the children of the village still take flowers to the ANZAC graves every year.”
Anthony Whyte, also of Harefield, added: “It is a sad state of affairs when there is an obvious need for CCTV in a cemetery, but I guess this is a sign of the times.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting reference number 0923805/15.
The desecration of war graves is a despicable crime”
n DAMAGE: Councillor Jane Palmer tweeted this image of the vandalised ANZAC war graves in Harefield