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Officers restore War Memorial following arson attack

Response Team officers were flagged down by a member of the public at around 3.30am yesterday morning to reports of a fire at the War Memorial in Lewisham Way.

The charred remains of burnt poppy wreaths could be seen at the memorial along with significant smoke damage to the base.

Officers were shocked by the apparent arson attack on the memorial and took it upon themselves to clean it up immediately. Lewisham’s Response Team B went and found buckets, used a tap in the small park area nearby and took it in turns to fill the buckets with water and removed the soot and damage with brooms, mops and towels.

The officers worked through the night, past sunrise and ensured it was clean and proper by morning.

Superintendent Neil Evans said: “It is very rare that a memorial is vandalised and is naturally an emotive subject. This Sunday marks the eve of the outbreak of World War One and it is particularly insensitive that someone should vandalise a war memorial, which helps us remember the sacrifice that many men and women made from around the British Empire.

“Lewisham’s diverse community reflects those nations that valiantly contributed and therefore the conflict of 1914-18 is a shared community experience. Let us all take a moment to reflect on that and the commemorations.”

The incident is being treated as arson and enquiries are underway to catch the perpetrator.