Mayor's anger at yob spitting on war memorial
A MAYOR who confronted a youth he saw spitting on a war memorial says he has been left 'disgusted' by what he saw.
The incident is just one in a string of acts of vandalism and anti-social behaviour which has drawn the ire of Ivybridge Mayor Trevor Parsons.
Mr Parsons said he was recently alerted to a group of youths sitting by the memorial in Fore Street.
The spitter was among the group who were described as aged between 14 and 15.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He said: "It was absolutely disgusting. I'm a member of the Royal British Legion and I tried to point out to the youth that there were people's names on the memorial who had sacrificed their lives for us, and if it had not been for them we would not have the freedom we have today.
"Those who know him should have the courage to come forward and provide a name."
The incident, on the evening of September 7, is one of many incidents of anti-social behaviour Mr Parsons has been made aware of.
He said he has even gone so far as to offer a reward for information about those responsible for a range of incidents, including damage to Ivybridge leisure centre, vandalism and arson at Filham Park allotments, vandalism at Victoria Park's play area, littering around Leonards Road, smashed windows at Filham Park veterinary practices and damage to the town hall's flag poles.
Colin Cliff, a member of the Ivybridge Royal British Legion who served with the Royal Marines for 23 years, said the news saddened him.
Colin, aged 75, was awarded the British Empire Medal during the Cyprus conflict and said he felt some youngsters did not understand the importance the memorial had for servicemen and women and their families.
He said: "I think it's disgusting. Words fail me. My first impression on hearing the news is not printable.
"It seems there is a group of youngsters in Ivybridge who have gone mad of late, causing havoc down the allotments and burning sheds.
"I don't think they know the importance of the memorial to us. It's sad."
Mr Parsons added: "I've lived here 32 years and I've never known anything like it. I am very sad to say that this has been the worst period since I became Mayor in May 2011 in terms of anti-social behaviour and crime in our beautiful town.
"If we don't stamp this out we've only got ourselves to blame."
He questioned if recent cut-backs by the police had seen officers sent to other, seemingly more crime-ridden towns in the South Hams.
Mr Parsons said: "Our response team is now in Plympton and the detectives are now in Plymouth. We've had officers come in from Totnes to cover, who don't know the area or the people.
"Ivybridge is a really safe town but we do seem to have these elements who are running riot."
Sgt John Livingstone, neighbourhood team leader for Ivybridge, said police needed the public to call over each and every incident.
He said: "We do regular patrols and operations, gathering evidence both overtly and covertly.
"We have reported people to the council and fined them for littering.
"We are aware of ongoing problems and have initiatives in place. We will deal with it robustly if we know about it.
"We are reliant on the public to alert us to these problems. If they highlight them, it allows us to put our resources in the right places and deal with it robustly."
Comment – Page 11