Outrage after student seen urinating on cenotaph
Tuesday 05 October 2010
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."
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