Vandalism attacks on five London war memorials over two days are linked, police say
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Vandalism attacks on five London war memorials over two days are linked, police say

POLICE are linking a paint attack on the Bomber Command Memorial in central London with the vandalism of four other memorials and statues across the UK capital.

Vandals sparked widespread public anger after white paint was found splattered over the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, Piccadilly, on Sunday night.

Scotland Yard later received reports of four similar incidents in London the following day.

White paint was also found on the Allies Statue of Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt in New Bond Street, the Canada Memorial in Green Park, The Royal Marine Memorial in The Mall and the memorial to murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher in St James's Square.

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No arrests have been made but police are trawling through CCTV and have appealed for witnesses or anyone else with information to come forward.

Detective Inspector Dave Watkinson said the Metropolitan Police were treating all five incidents as linked.

"These crimes have understandably caused anger and offence and we are working hard to identify and apprehend those responsible," DI Watkinson said.

"Our enquiries are moving at pace and I urge anyone who saw anything suspicious at the locations concerned to contact us."

The RAF Benevolent Fund, which maintains the Bomber Command Memorial, said Sunday's incident was the fourth time in six years that it had been vandalised.

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In 2013, a man daubed the word "Islam" on the sculpture shortly after the killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks. He was arrested and detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

A week later, a second man wrote "Lee Rigby's killers should hang" and "EDL" on the memorial. He was jailed for 12 weeks.

However, Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, chief executive of the RAF Benevolent Fund, said Sunday's paint attack was "the worst example of vandalism we have seen at the memorial".

He added: "It is utterly heartbreaking to see the memory of all those brave airmen disrespected in this way.

"This despicable act took just moments but will take considerable time and resources to put right. But like the remarkable men who the memorial commemorates, we will not rest until we have finished the job."

The charity estimates repairs could cost thousands of pounds.

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Anyone who has information is urged to call the incident room on 020 7321 8210 to speak with a detective.

Alternatively, call 101 quoting CAD reference 6493/20JAN, tweet @MetCC, report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.