War Memorials: Vandalism

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 5th February 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure war memorials are protected from public vandalism.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Powers which may be used to tackle vandalism include the offence of criminal damage which carries a maximum sentence of up to ten years imprisonment and a Civil Injunction which can be imposed by the courts to place prohibitions or requirements on perpetrators of Anti social behaviour, which can include requiring them to stay away from a particular place or require them to repair damage to someone else’s property. For adults, breach is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

The Government provides support for the repair of memorials through the Memorial Grant Scheme which makes grants towards the VAT incurred by charities and faith groups in the construction, repair and maintenance of public memorial structures, including war memorials. The scheme has a fixed budget of £0.5m per year for spending period.

To mark the centenary of the First World War, Government funded a four-year programme. One strand of this work was to ensure war memorials across the country are protected and the people they commemorate, remembered. The aim was to add 2,500 war memorials to the National Heritage List for England. The project finished at the end of September 2018, having added or amended a total of 2,645 war memorials to the list.

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