Vandal petition handed to MPs

MP for Blackpool South Gordon Marsden (left) with petition organiser Ian Coleman at Blackpool cenotaph.
MP for Blackpool South Gordon Marsden (left) with petition organiser Ian Coleman at Blackpool cenotaph.
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A campaign calling for stronger punishments for war memorial vandals has taken another step forward.

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden has presented a petition with 3,000 names collected in Blackpool to Parliament.

He said: “The purpose is to raise the issue again and get a response from a minister which should be someone from the Justice Department.

“It is another way of putting pressure on the government.”

Last month Mr Marsden, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Veterans Group, and Ian Coleman, president of the Blackpool branch of the Royal British Legion, handed the petition in at Downing Street and Mr Marsden has also quizzed David Cameron on the issue during Prime Minister’s Question Time.

The petition was launched following public outcry over the behaviour of a 32-year-old Blackpool woman who was seen urinating and performing a sex act on the resort’s Cenotaph. Her 15-week suspended prison sentence outraged campaigners who said it did little to deter vandals.

The petition reads: “We the undersigned believe war memorials and their surroundings should be treated as special places,

“Their protection should be rigidly enforced utilising existing laws or new legislation, we believe this would act as a deterrent.”

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