Portsmouth in uproar as disgraceful yobs urinate on Portsmouth Naval Memorial in Southsea
THIS is the disgraceful moment a yob was caught urinating on a city war memorial – just days after the government ramped up punishments for those desecrating military monuments.
The hoodie-wearing hooligan was snapped as he relieved himself on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial in an act of defiance that furious veterans said ‘made their blood boil’.
As recently as Monday, youths were spotted urinating on the seafront structure, built to honour almost 25,000 military personnel killed defending Britain.
Others were allegedly sighted vandalising flower beds of fallen heroes.
The news has ignited a fresh wave of fury in Portsmouth, with calls being made to clampdown on yobs by installing CCTV cameras at the site.
Southsea man Nick Pellatt, who has been crusading for tougher measures to defend the seafront tribute, said: ‘I’m disgusted and angry at how many people are doing this. It’s backward and selfish.
‘People are urinating on the name plaques of people honoured at the war memorial. It’s getting to the point that the stonework is being damaged because of the ammonia in the urine.
‘The memorial absolutely stinks at the moment because it’s been heavily weed on. It’s disgraceful. Something needs to be done to stop this.’
The latest incident follows a string of similar sickening behaviour over the summer, which saw drunken yobs defecating and vandalising the memorial.
The most recent assault on the monument has enraged Portsmouth veterans and politicians.
Royal Navy veteran Chris Purcell, of Fratton, lost 20 of his crewmates when his ship, HMS Sheffield, was sunk during the Falklands War.
He said: ‘I’m disgusted at what’s happened. These yobs are the lowest of the low. It makes my blood boil.
‘People like this honoured at these memorials paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can live the life we have got today.
‘These yobs just haven’t got a clue. Everyone – civilian, veteran, politician – will be up in arms over this.’
On Tuesday the government announced stronger police powers and tougher sentencing rules for those caught vandalising war memorials.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill aims to increase the maximum penalty for criminal damage of a war memorial from three months to 10 years.
Councillor Donna Jones, is head of Portsmouth’s Conservative group at Portsmouth City Council.
The former city council leader said: ‘I’m deeply disappointed to hear of people disrespecting the city’s war memorial again.
‘This is the ultimate insult to many people across the city. Those that have done this should hold their heads in shame.’
Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP and Labour’s shadow armed forces minister, was also appalled.
‘Portsmouth Naval Memorial is an invaluable part of our city’s heritage and desecrating it in this way will cause untold hurt to our local families,’ he added.
‘Incidents like this at our city’s historic landmarks have unfortunately been too commonplace and it must be urgently sorted now without delay.’
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the city council, branded the incident ‘disrespectful’ and ‘unnecessary’ given the public toilets at nearby Clarence Pier had remained open during the pandemic.
‘This monument honours the tens of thousands of men killed during the First and Second World War who paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep this country free,’ he added.
‘We will do whatever we can to try and make sure people treat this really important monument the respect it deserves.’
However, he said installing CCTV ‘wasn’t practical’ given that offenders tended to use sheltered parts of the monument where roofs were ‘low enough for cameras to be ripped down’.
Hampshire police has been informed of the most recent string of anti-social behaviour at the memorial.