I’M not old enough to remember a time when we did not have vandals and hooligans.
I have been reliably informed that this era did exist (even if the word Vandal is taken from a marauding European race from many centuries ago).
Older people tell me that there used to be a time when you could expect to find a pristine telephone book in a kiosk (with a working phone, all the windows intact and no stench of urine in the confined space).
Bus shelters would be clean and unmolested and so would all park equipment. Grave stones would not be pushed over or smashed.
That this hasn’t been the norm for all my life doesn’t mean it doesn’t wind me up though.
Ruining other people’s stuff just for some moronic self-gratification or out of boredom (what a pathetic excuse that word is) winds me up, I am sure, just as much as it would if I could recollect less vandal-hit times.
All criminal damage is reprehensible but when it is against something of a particular personal significance, it should be held in even great public contempt.
Take for example the throwing of paint all over the Platt Bridge war memorial last month.
I also recall a case from Blackpool when some woman decided to relieve herself on the cenotaph to the town’s war dead.
Rightly, such disgusting acts made big headlines.
And, I was delighted to read in our paper only the other day that the Sentencing Council has now issued guidelines to the courts which enable them to impose tougher punishments on those who vandalise “heritage structures” including memorials and churches.
At last proper recognition is being made of the emotional as well as financial impact an act of criminal damage can make.