The Friends of West View Park group say they are “devastated” after a Halifax memorial was vandalised.
Graffiti was daubed on the memorial l but the community responded by writing messages of unity and tolerance in chalk on the ground.
The memorial commemorates 73 local soldiers who fell in the Boer Wars. But it has been subjected to vandalism before, with one bronze plaque stolen and another damaged.
A spokesperson for the Friends of West View Park said: “The park is experiencing a lot of anti-social behaviour. Many locals feel unsafe using the park. Used needles are everywhere, making it unsafe for children. We are devastated after the success of achieving funding to refurbish the statue. The disrespect towards men who gave their lives in the war feels completely intolerable.
“We are bringing the community together to do more positive things in the park, and encourage local residents to get involved. Only by tackling issues as a community will we overcome them. We have received a lot of positive feedback for our chalked ‘graffiti’ encouraging love, peace and respect.
“Our chair is working with police to increase community patrols in the area.”
Councillor James Baker, who has been involved in efforts to renovate the memorial, said: “The positive messages show the local community will carry on using the park, and won’t let it be taken over by these people.”
Councillor Baker (Lib-Dem, Warley) says Calderdale Council will be arranging for the memorial to be cleaned.
He added: “We’re need to tackle the underlying social issues around young people. Unless we do there is a worry that it will just happen again.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police 101, quoting ref 13180277480.