PERSISTENT vandalism could see a village war memorial locked up to protect it from further damage.

Darfield’s memorial to those who died in the First and Second World Wars, in Welfare Park on Church Street, has reportedly seen youngsters congregating and repeatedly causing damage, particularly during lockdown.

In the most recent incident, over the weekend, remnants of fires were found and several flagstones were cracked and pulled up.

Coun Kevin Osborne said he and ward colleagues had been in contact with police regarding extra patrols in the area – but the site could become shut off if the damage continues.

“I don’t like to see these things closed – it’s like locking a church up,” he said.

“It’s a place of reflection that should unite us all.

“To try to trash it is really upsetting.

“The names of the fallen on there are now at peace, and these people seem to be determined to ruin that peace.

“We’ve seen CCTV and it appears to be teenage boys breaking up the flag stones, and then they try to smash the camera that’s recording them doing it.

“We are looking at a range of measures to combat this, ranging from fencing it off to asking South Yorkshire Police for a few more patrols.

“We are aware a new camera is coming in. We aren’t just going to accept this sort of behaviour.”