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Watton war memorial vandalised

PUBLISHED: 13:08 15 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:00 08 July 2010

A war memorial remembering the lives of airmen who flew from RAF Watton in the second world war has become the latest victim in a spat of vandalism in the town.

A war memorial recording the lives of second world war airmen who flew from RAF Watton has become the latest victim of vandalism in the town.

The memorial to the men of the 25th Bomb Group and another for RAF airmen were only moved back to their original home outside the former base two months ago.

Paving has been sprayed with turquoise paint, much described as 'hieroglyphics', and the words magic and a picture of a mushroom painted. Across the granite memorial, which has just been resurfaced, the letters UK were also painted.

Part of the fence and gate was also damaged.

It follows a spat of damage in the last month which has also seen a veterinary practise in Goddard's Court covered with spray paint, tyres slashed, windows smashed, fences damaged and cars scratched.

Town leader Jan Godfrey, who was involved in getting the memorial back to its original home after years spent near the former offices mess when the gates to the base closed, said: “It's just mindless. It is really sad. I'm heart-broken because we put a lot of work into getting those memorials right.”

The memorial to the American special reconnaissance group, based at Watton in the final year of the war, was rededicated in June after being moved back to where the front gates of the base would have been.

Sgt Kevin Jervis, who heads up the Watton Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “The summer months are always a problem and it is not unusual to see anti social behaviour and criminal damage increase."

He said there had been several incidents of cars, fencing panels and windows being damaged recently and that they had already had some success arresting some of those believed involved in the damage and were in the process of taking them to court.

He added: "We are very concerned about the recent use of spray paint to cause damage to buildings around town and the war memorial.

"These acts of vandalism serve no purpose to anyone and just make the area look unsightly. To do this to the war memorial is shameful and the offenders need to be caught and dealt with.

"Any information about who has committed these offences would be very helpful and we would particularly like to know who has been seen with cans of spray paint, where they are being bought or hidden."

Other damage had been seen in Merlin Road, Loch Neaton, Northolt Road, Blenhaim Court, Tom Turley Close, and Harvey Street. The golf club and CAB have also been hit.

Anyone with any information should contact Sgt Kevin Jervis on 0845 4564567.

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