Police investigating hate incident after tributes to black and ethnic minority soldiers found binned

Several wreaths were removed from the memorial in Cardiff and placed by a bin. Credit: Race Council Cymru

Police are investigating after several wreaths were removed from a war memorial for black and ethnic minority soldiers and placed on a bin in Cardiff.

Race Council Cymru shared an image on social media that shows at least ten poppy wreaths on top of and propped up against a bin.

In a tweet, the organisation said: "We are shocked, horrified and distressed that our tributes to ethnic minority servicemen and women were picked up by someone and placed on the bin!

"Our Commonwealth veterans who we honour should be respected and this is not respect!"

South Wales Police said officers are investigating it as a hate incident and has urged anyone with information to come forward.

The plaque honouring ethnic and Commonwealth servicemen and women was unveiled at the Welsh National War Memorial in Cathays Park in 2019. Credit: Race Council Cymru

Joanne Maksymiuk-King, hate crime support officer at Race Council Cymru, said the image has caused a lot of distress.

"The wreaths symbolise and attribute the ethnic minority servicemen and women, so to see them around a bin is distressing," she said.

"People just want to know what the thought is behind it, people just want answers."

Dozens of social media users have also shared their anger at the sight.

Leader of Cardiff Council, Huw Thomas, described the incident as "utterly appalling".

"I remember meeting the Butetown Elders a few years ago who wanted a fitting memorial, and remember their pride when the memorial was then unveiled," he said.

"This is an insult to their community's sacrifice. We will try and salvage the wreaths, or else replace them."

Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader Liz Saville-Roberts said: "This is shameful, disrespectful and divisive."

The plaque was unveiled at the Welsh National War Memorial in Cathays Park in 2019, following a 26-year campaign by a woman who lost her father and brothers in World War II.

Patti Flynn, who died in September, said the sacrifices of servicemen and women from black and ethnic minority backgrounds had been "forgotten".