Teenage vandals have been branded “scum” after they filmed themselves stealing floral wreaths from an Anzac memorial to give to their girlfriends, just hours before the country comes together to mark the special day.
Channel 9’s Today show released footage, taken from Snapchat, of the group laughing and swearing as two boys carried wreaths away from the memorial at Box Hills in Melbourne – with one girl even carrying one on her head.
While two boys can be seen close up to the camera piling up the wreaths on the ground, girls are heard giggling behind them as one says “onya c***” before adding: “You’re so sweet”.
The footage was uploaded by a contact of one of the people in the video, and she has described it as “putrid”.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) April 23, 2018
“These scums (sic) decided to go to a Box Hill gardens and steal flowers that friends, family, even strangers have laid for these beautiful veterans that have fought for our country and passed away,” she wrote. “This is beyond disrespectful and i can’t put into words how sick, angry and f****** upset this makes me feel.”
While police weren’t originally aware of the vandalism, they have now been notified by the the Today show. The memorial has since been restored, with local residents sharing photos of it hours later with the flowers back in place.
The video sparked outrage from social media users, with one commenting: “Your parents must be very proud of you…” Another added: “I knew that we had some low lives amongst us but how much lower are those that steal wreaths that were put around an Anzac memorial at Box Hill Victoria. They videoed themselves and were laughing about it. This upsets me greatly that they find this sort of behaviour funny and want them found and punished.”
— Lauren Tomasi (@LaurenTomasi) April 23, 2018
One user sparked a debate as they blamed the behaviour on “today’s society”, and while many agreed, some pointed the blame at their parents – and insisted it’s a much wider issue. The original user wrote: “I really hate today’s society & what we’ve become. There’s no respect for anything or anyone.”
One user replied: “Yes that is true. Sadly when you look around & see many parents & the way they speak to their children, they constantly have phones & iPads in hand etc & not learning any social skills these kids just don’t have a chance.”
Meanwhile, one pointed the finger at the justice system, writing: “The blame needs to be on All the JUDGES who give soft punishment and lawyers who feel sorry for them too much and also the law that took away the parents rights to discipline!”
However, another user insisted there’s no-one to blame but the teens themselves, who are old enough to know better. They added: “By the time you are the age these kids are you know right from wrong no matter how you are brought up……. They choose to do the wrong thing…… They get more attention.”