War memorial vandals may have used ladder

VANDALS may have used a stolen ladder to cut off the side of a soldier's slouch hat at the Perth Lions Park war memorial.

Longford Police Senior Constable Sam Lloyd said there had been talk throughout the town of a ladder being seen at the park.

He said a ladder had also been stolen from a nearby address around the same time and dumped in another street.

"So whether they are related we're trying to find out," Senior Constable Lloyd said.

He said he had a few witnesses come forward but not as many as he had hoped.

The war memorial was damaged some time between December 31 and January 2.

It occurred within a week of vandals climbing the refurbished World War I statue at the Ulverstone cenotaph and forcing cigarette butts up the soldier's nose and stealing the bayonet.

Returned and Services League of Australia has called for harsher penalties for people who desecrate war memorials since 2011.

State Veterans' Affairs Minister Scott Bacon confirmed at the weekend that he would meet with members of the RSL to discuss ways to crack down on war memorial vandals.

The meeting comes after legislation to make interfering with a war memorial a specific offence, carrying a penalty of up to 12 months' imprisonment and $1300 in fines, was tabled but never passed by the Legislative Council last November.

Liberal veteran affairs spokesman Adam Brooks said last week a majority Hodgman Liberal government would make toughening up laws against vandals who desecrate war memorials a priority.

Anyone with information about the Perth vandalism is asked to contact Longford Police on 63911744 or CrimeStoppers on 1800333000.


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