Ten-year jail sentences for desecrating war memorials
Demonstrators who desecrate war memorials could face prison sentences of up to ten years, under plans being considered by ministers after the Cenotaph and a statue of Winston Churchill were boarded up to protect them from violent protests.
Robert Buckland, the Justice Secretary, Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, are understood to be discussing proposals to make it easier to prosecute people who damage monuments to those who died during wars. The measures under discussion could also cover some of the statues currently being targeted by activists.
The proposal would amend the Criminal Damage act to exempt war memorials from a clause that automatically treats acts of vandalism with damages of fewer than £5,000 as lesser offences.
So far, 125 Conservative Members of Parliament have pledged support for the proposed Desecration of War Memorials Bill, that will come before the House of Commons on June 23rd, presented by MP for Stoke-on-Trent North Jonathan Gullis and former Army officer James Sunderland.
“At present, there is no specific law to protect these important monuments and unless £5,000 worth of damage is done, it is incredibly hard to prosecute,” explained Mr Gullis.
On Saturday, groups of Englishmen, including football fans and war veterans assembled in London and cities throughout the country to stand in defence of historical monuments, following earlier failures by police to protect them.