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Police Hunting For Five Men Who Damaged ANZAC Memorial

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Police Hunting For Five Men Who Damaged ANZAC Memorial

Police in New South Wales are hunting for a group of men who were seen vandalising an ANZAC memorial in Sydney.

CCTV footage has captured the moment five young men were walking near Cenotaph in Martin Place in the CBD.

The men were passing through the area at around 3:10am on Saturday (May 29) and authorities have since discovered the bayonet on the statue has been damaged.

The group has been described as being of Caucasian in appearance and aged around 18 to 20.

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The incident has left veteran groups absolutely fuming over the disrespect shown to something memorialising the country's servicemen and women.

RSL NSW President Ray James told 7News: "It's a personal attack on all members of the community, all members, all Australians."

"It's a very special memorial and it's a special memorial for all Australians. Not just veterans, but all Australians. It's very disturbing and disgusting."

Credit: NSW Police
Credit: NSW Police
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Despite ANZAC memorials holding a high level of community respect, sites across Australia have been targeted in the past.

A Queanbeyan war memorial in New South Wales site that has 100 crosses commemorating those who died in conflict was damaged in 2019.

Some of the crosses were strewn across the memorial site and the chain was broken. It was the eighth time in recent years that the memorial had been vandalised.

Back in 2013, a Frenchman climbed on the Cenotaph around 3am, placed a traffic cone on the head of the statue of the First World War soldier and then swung on his bayonet.

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A friend filmed the whole thing and it was then plastered across pretty much every major Australian news network.

He issued a public apology to the Sydney Morning Herald, saying: "I feel so, so ashamed of what I did. Even if I was drunk, it isn't a reason to do that.

"I didn't remember anything, I was only aware what I did when my friend called me on Wednesday and said he saw me on TV.

"He described what he had seen on TV and then I remembered. I was shocked, yes, shocked...because I realised what I did."

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The bloke handed himself into police and they eventually charged him with damaging or desecrating a protected place.

"I feel so, so ashamed at what I did. I feel very sorry for all soldiers and families who lost loved ones. I want to now be really, really more respectful because I know Australia is a country where people are welcoming and helpful," he said.

Featured Image Credit: NSW Police

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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