RESIDENTS have reacted with fury after teenagers were caught on camera vandalising flower beds at a D-Day memorial.
Vandals were seen kicking up flowers which had been planted at the Hardway slipway memorial in honour of fallen heroes.
Resident Liam Stickler said: ‘It’s disgusting – these kids have no respect for anyone. They also leave broken glass and rubbish surrounding the memorial.’
Neighbour, Chris Gilson, added: ‘It’s so disrespectful as it’s clear what the memorial is about.’
The memorial was a focal point for D-Day commemorations with flowers planted in memory of those who lost their lives. The location played a significant role on D-Day with soldiers embarking for Normandy from the slipway.
Stephen Walker commented: ‘These kids need to be made an example of. The flowers were planted for those that lost their lives and gave these kids the freedom they have today yet this is the respect they get.’
Fellow resident, Diane Ashford, added: ‘I was there for the June commemoration and the council had done a fantastic work in getting the area ready. For these kids to do this is so disrespectful.’
The incident was caught on camera by one resident who asked not to be named.
‘There were a group of five girls and two boys who made a fire on the grass. Next thing I heard was a lot of noise and I looked out to see one of the boys kicking out the plants. It was absolutely appalling to witness,’ she said.
An escalation in incidents culminated last month when tens of children attacked police cars.
One resident, a former police officer who asked not to be named due to fears of repercussion, said: ‘I was headbutted recently when I challenged them about their behaviour. The language they use is appalling, bins have been set on fire, criminal damage caused and there is often underage drinking. Parents need to take more responsibility. The boys should be made to replant the flowers and the parents pay for it.’
A statement from police said: ‘We can confirm we received a report of criminal damage in Priory Road, Gosport. Damage had been caused to the flower beds around the anchor and the Canadian War Memorial.’