Editorial: Vandals get off lightly

By Andrew Austin


Few things irritate right-thinking people in a community more than vandals who disrespect the memory of those who served the country in war.

A field of 140 white crosses - erected two weeks ago in preparation for Anzac Day and symbolising Waipawa servicemen lost in war - was targeted by vandals, who ripped out and stole about 15 of them.

That was the first thing the vandals did wrong. The second mistake made by the two women in their early twenties was that they posted photographs and a video of themselves in the act of stealing the crosses.

Facebook is often criticised as fertile ground for cyberbullying, but in this case the social media site became a modern-day people's court that swiftly and scathingly convicted the women.

So outraged where members of the public who saw the photos that they pointed police in the right direction. The women were "vilified" for their stupid and thoughtless actions.

Police say the two women were drunk when they removed the crosses, but they have since realised the error of their ways and will be meeting with the Waipawa RSA to work something out.

For this reason no charges will be laid, even though 10 crosses are still unaccounted for.

These woman are lucky the police have been so lenient, because frankly they are old enough to know better. Also, being drunk is no excuse. If you are prone to acts of vandalism while under the influence, lay off the grog.

They need to take a long hard look at themselves, because they are lucky they got off so lightly.

Centuries ago it would have been a lynchmob attacking them, not a Facebook mob.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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