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Paint attacks on five London memorials are linked, police say

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Police are linking the vandalism of the Bomber Command Memorial to similar paint attacks on four other memorials and statues around London.

White paint was found splattered over the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, Piccadilly, on Sunday.

A day later, similar damage was discovered at the Allies Statue of Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt in New Bond Street, the Canada Memorial in Green Park, The Royal Marine Memorial in The Mall and the memorial to murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher in St James’s Square.

The vandalism was discovered on Monday morning
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Police say the vandalism is linked to similar desecration of other memorials

No arrests have been made but police have appealed for witnesses or anyone else with information about the vandalism.

Detective Inspector Dave Watkinson confirmed that police were treating the incidents as being linked and said detectives were carrying out enquiries including forensic examination and reviewing CCTV.

He added: “These crimes have understandably caused anger and offence and we are working hard to identify and apprehend those responsible.

Metropolitan Police undated handout photo of a fenced off Canada Memorial in Green Park, one of five memorials and statues in central London that were vandalised
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Canada Memorial in Green Park was one of five memorials targeted
Metropolitan Police undated handout photo of memorial to murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher in St James's Square, one of five memorials and statues in central London that were vandalised
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A memorial to murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher was also vandalised
The figures of Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on the Allies sculpture in New Bond Street, London, which has been vandalised with white paint
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The figures of Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on the Allies sculpture in New Bond Street

“Our enquiries are moving at pace and I urge anyone who saw anything suspicious at the locations concerned to contact us.”

It is the fourth time the Bomber Command Memorial has been vandalised since it was unveiled by the Queen in 2012.

The memorial, which is maintained by the RAF Benevolent Fund, commemorates more than 55,500 members of the Bomber Command who died in the Second World War.

Crews came from across the globe – from the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and all corners of the Commonwealth, as well as from occupied nations including Poland, France and Czechoslovakia.

Of the 125,000 aircrew who served, 72% were killed, seriously injured or taken as prisoners of war.

Queen Elizabeth II unveils the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London, watched by the Duke of Edinburgh
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The Queen unveiled the memorial in front of large crowd in 2012

More than 44% were killed whilst serving – the highest rate of attrition of any allied unit. Each man was a volunteer, and their average age of death was only 23.

Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, chief executive of the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “This is the worst example of vandalism we have seen at the memorial and it is utterly heartbreaking to see the memory of all those brave airmen disrespected in this way.

“This despicable act took just moments but will take considerable time and resources to put right.

“But like the remarkable men who the memorial commemorates, we will not rest until we have finished the job.”

The charity estimates repairs could run into thousands of pounds.

:: Anyone who has information can call the incident room on 020 7321 8210 and speak to a detective.

Alternatively, call 101 quoting CAD reference 6493/20JAN, tweet @MetCC, report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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