Man arrested after poppy wreaths scattered in Swindon

Wreaths strewn around the war memorial in Regent Street, Swindon Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption Officers on patrol came across the wreaths in the early hours of Saturday

A man has been arrested after Poppy wreaths were taken from a war memorial in Swindon and thrown across the street.

About 50 wreaths from the Cenotaph on Regent Street were scattered around.

Officers on patrol came across the wreaths in the early hours of Saturday, Wiltshire Police said.

A 54-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and taken to Swindon Police Station for questioning.

The man was still in custody on Sunday evening, the force said.

Insp Rachel Hardy said: "This incident has understandably caused a huge amount of upset to our local community and officers have been working tirelessly to identify the person responsible.

"Whilst we have made an arrest, we continue to appeal to anyone who may have information on this incident to call us."

Image copyright Wiltshire Police

A police spokesman said: "This was a mindless act of vandalism and shows complete disregard for those servicemen and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice in service of this country."

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said the vandalism was "a total disgrace".

"I laid our Wiltshire Police wreath at this cenotaph on Sun 11th Nov 2018 alongside many war veterans to show respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to provide the freedoms we enjoy today," he added.

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