Outrage after student seen urinating on cenotaph

A student who was spotted urinating on a war memorial sparked outrage and a police investigation today.

The incident happened during an organised pub crawl involving up to 1,000 students during freshers' week in Southampton.

The man was seen to urinate on the cenotaph, a memorial to those from the area who died in the First and Second World Wars.

The pub crawl last Thursday was set up and stewarded by party organiser Carnage UK.

Catherine Kitchener, county manager for the Royal British Legion in Hampshire, said: "It's today's society and it's different from societies gone past and it seems it is more acceptable to the younger generation to spill out on to the streets.

"I think it's quite sad, I would hope that students would embrace the idea that the memory of those who had made the ultimate sacrifice should always be treated with respect.

"Hopefully, in hindsight, the student might feel some regret."

Royston Smith, leader of Southampton City Council, said: "This disgusting act cannot be tolerated and I completely condemn the behaviour of this individual.

"While I support young people having a good time in Southampton, I will not tolerate anyone who can show such blatant disrespect to our fallen heroes.

"The night-time economy remains one of the council's priorities and we are working hard with the police and other partners to reduce crime and ensure people stay safe in Southampton."

Inspector Phil Bates, of Hampshire Police, called on the public to help identify the person involved.

He said: "The actions of the young person urinating on the cenotaph are unforgivable and we'd like to identify him so we can consider appropriate action.

"We are working closely with the operators of Carnage UK, the universities, the local authority and the licensed trade to try and eradicate this sort of behaviour."

A spokesman for Varsity Leisure Group (VLG), which owns Carnage UK, said: "VLG was appalled to see that one individual treated a war memorial in a highly disrespectful manner.

"VLG has the greatest respect and admiration for all those who lost their lives in the defence of this country.

"The perpetrator of this despicable act will not be welcome at future events held by Carnage UK."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific