AN armed forces charity has accused cyclists seen performing stunts on Burton’s war memorial of ‘blatant abuse’.
Anne Compton, secretary of Burton’s Royal British Legion branch, said the town’s memorial, off Lichfield Street, should be fenced off and only made accessible on special occasions, such as Remembrance Sunday.
“We have no objections to people sitting on the memorial, but it’s blatant abuse to have cyclists and skateboarders on there,” Mrs Compton said.
The memorial currently has a small fence around it and there are signs to restrict access, but there are now calls for security to be beefed up.
“It should have barriers around it and it should be kept locked up other than for special celebrations,” Mrs Compton said.
Mail reader Vivian Hankey, who photographed three cyclists performing stunts on the memorial this week, said: “These three young vandals were riding their cycles all over the war memorial with no respect for all the hardship and loss of life.”
The current war memorial was unveiled in 1922 and consists of a statue mounted on a plinth. It features inscriptions of the names of brave Burtonians who laid down their lives during the two world wars.
It is surrounded by a garden and is located just yards from the entrance to Burton and South Derbyshire College.
Mrs Compton said: “Riding a bike across the memorial is completely inappropriate. It’s not right. In other towns, war memorials have much more substantial barriers around them to protect them from this sort of thing.
“Kids on bikes or skateboards do not stop to read signs. Something more needs to be done. People need to know this is not the right sort of behaviour around a war memorial.”
East Staffordshire Borough Council, which is charged with maintaining the memorial, said it would work with police to resolve any antisocial behaviour issues.