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Disgust as Morecambe War Memorial sprayed with Nazi graffiti

Nazi graffiti was left on the Morecambe War Memorial

Morecambe War Memorial and other parts of the town have been sprayed with Nazi graffiti in the second such incident in less than a month.

The swastika was discovered on the Memorial, located in the gardens on Marine Road Central, on Saturday.

There was also racist and homophobic graffiti in other parts of the town centre, including on several buildings in Victoria Street and on the Jump Rush trampoline centre, and on walls on the Promenade.

The incident was reported to the police and Lancaster City Council, who removed the offensive graffiti.

Councillor Joanne Ainscough, a Morecambe councillor, said: "Awful to see yet more Nazi graffiti this morning, this time sprayed on the War Memorial. 

"I, like many other families in Morecambe have a relative named on that memorial and it’s utterly disgusting that an individual or individuals chose to deface it.

"There have been additional reports of this kind of graffiti at Jump Rush (trampoline centre) and the town centre as well."

Chief Inspector Dave Hannan said: “This is an appalling offence, and the writing of racist and homophobic graffiti will not be tolerated. We are working hard to bring the offenders to justice.

"From the locations of the damage and existing CCTV we believe the individual has moved through Euston Road, Victoria Street, Northumberland Street and along the Promenade including the War Memorial. We believe the incidents happened in the early morning, around 1am.

“Any footage you have, doorbell or dashcam, could help us retrace their steps further. If you have any information, footage, or anything that you think may help us with this investigation, please contact 101 quoting log number 386 of 19th August. Someone out there knows who did this, and we could strongly encourage anyone to come forward with information.

“I want to thank the community for their continued support. Our local neighbourhood teams will be out in the area, so please do speak to them if you have any concerns."

Graffiti was previously left on the Promenade overnight on July 28 and 29.

The graffiti, which included homophobic slurs, violent messages and the Nazi swastika, was covered or removed and reported to the police. It is believed this was a targeted attack on the Morecambe Pride event, which took place on July 29.

Read more: Residents condemn homophobic and racist graffiti scrawled on Promenade before Morecambe Pride - Beyond Radio

Lancaster city councillors, from across the political spectrum, will meet at the War Memorial on Wednesday morning to "honour those who gave their lives for our freedom, and to show unity against the recent attempts to undermine community cohesion in Morecambe".

A statement from the local Labour group on Monday said: "After a series of incidents where racist and homophobic graffiti has been removed from Morecambe Promenade walls, from some of the artwork on the front, and most recently and shockingly from the war memorial; Morecambe, Lancaster and District Labour councillors have joined together to condemn these horrendous attempts to undermine the unity of our community.

“We have not forgotten the sacrifices made by our parents, grandparents and great grandparents in the Second World War. One hundred and eighty men from Morecambe and Heysham are memorialised because they stood united against Nazis, fascists and racists, giving their lives so that everyone could live freely and without fear regardless of their skin colour, gender, class or who they love."

Speaking directly to the culprit, they said: "You have disrespected their sacrifice; we will honour it by spreading our arms wider and embracing everyone in our community with ever more kindness and acceptance.  You have sought to inspire division among us, but you have failed. Your threats, slurs and assaults on things in which we take pride have only inspired us toward greater unity.

"We are disgusted by your actions. On behalf of all local residents and to defend our community, we will press for the toughest sentencing against you.

"After many decades of being underappreciated, Morecambe is ready for a bright new future. The artworks you deface have brought hope, joy and colour to our town. We will not stand by while someone tries to drag this proud community into the past with these emblems and slogans of hate.

"Any form of prejudice that inspires hatred, vandalism, persecution and violence belongs in the last century, and will never be tolerated by the community of Morecambe, Lancaster and District.

"We would like to thank the public realm team at Lancaster City Council for taking swift action to remove the graffiti, and to reassure residents that your councillors, council officers and the local police are taking these attacks on our community very seriously, and we hope that whoever is responsible can be brought to justice as soon as possible.”

Councillor Caroline Jackson, chair of the Lancaster District Community Safety Partnership, said: “We were utterly appalled and disgusted by yet more cases of malicious graffiti in Morecambe over the weekend, particularly by that which defaced Morecambe’s War Memorial.

“This attack on our community shows complete disrespect for all those who care deeply about this town, for those who run businesses and attract visitors and for those heroes of past and present who were willing to give their lives in its defence. Let it be known that criminal behaviour such as this is not wanted here and in no way reflects the values of those who live here.

“The council will continue to work in partnership with the police to catch and take action against those responsible.

“Our thanks once again go to our public realm team for its swift response at the weekend in removing the graffiti from multiple sites and for remaining vigilant and updating the police on incidents.”

If you have any further information please call police on 101 or email to morecambe.NPT@lancashire.police.uk

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