'Absolute thoughtless morons' - Three people arrested following Nelson's Monument break-in
PUBLISHED: 14:39 26 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:39 26 July 2019
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Three people have been arrested following a break-in at the Nelson's Monument in Great Yarmouth.
Police were called to reports of suspicious activity in an industrial unit in the town's South Denes at 11.55pm on Wednesday (July 24).
The monument, a commemorative column dedicated to the famous admiral, stands in a railed enclosure inside the industrial estate and is open to the public on a limited basis - but enquiries by officers established its door had been broken into.
Three people, a woman in her 40s from the Bedford area, a man in his 30s from Hertfordshire and a woman in her 20s of no fixed address, were arrested on suspicion of burglary offences.
Another incident happened between 6pm on Wednesday (July 24) and 8am on Thursday (July 25) at a premises in Crittens Road, where copper piping had been taken.
The suspects have since been released under investigation while enquiries are ongoing.
Looming almost 50 metres high, Nelson's Monument was raised 200 years ago and is designated as a Grade I listed structure.
Kerry Robinson-Payne, Great Yarmouth Borough Councillor and curator of the town's Nelson Museum, said: "I am utterly disgusted. How could somebody do that to a listed building?"
She described the culprits as "absolute thoughtless morons".
The oak door and the lock, both 200 years old, were damaged and broken, she said.
The monument opens on Sundays during the summer to the public.
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Ms Robinson-Payne said there were concerns whether or not it could open this Sunday (July 28).
"All being well, we will," she said.
The first stone was laid in August 1817, 12 years after Nelson's death, and the column was fully raised two years later.
Inscriptions at the base commemorate four of the admiral's victories.
Earlier this week it was announced the Nelson Museum, a private collection of memorabilia dedicated to the man, will close this October.
The museum has seen declining numbers and removal of council funding in recent years.
It comprises of more than 2,000 items, including original letters penned by the Lord Admiral, an oil painting of him and other commemorative material.