A CAMPAIGN to make the desecration of war memorials a specific crime has gained support from across Scotland.

Friends of Dennistoun War Memorial, a group that raised £20,000 to create a memorial in Alexandria Park, launched the bid in July this year.

The granite tribute was vandalised with what was believed to be a petrol bomb shortly before its official unveiling.

In response, Jim Watson, the driving force behind the Dennistoun war memorial, set up a petition that has now gained more than 500 signatures.

The Friends group has also contacted every MSP in the country and has received support from most parties with politicians including Jackie Baillie, Ruth Davidson, Annie Wells and Willie Rennie, among others.

Jim said: "The position of the Scottish Government just now is that there is already legislation that covers vandalism.

"Our position is that it does not specifically deal with war memorials.

"Legislation has been approved this week in Westminster for what we are looking for in Scotland so we have now raised a petition on the Scottish Parliament website - Protect Scotland's War Memorials."

Included in the petition is a list of memorials from across Scotland that have been desecrated in the past three years.

There are around 20 listed, including in Govanhill, Coatbridge and Motherwell.

Jim says desecration of a war memorial is akin to damaging a grave site and should be a distinct crime from vandalism.

He hopes the petition will gain enough signatures to continue forward and be debated in the Scottish Parliament.

He added: "All we can really do at this difficult time is for everyone is ask people on the Facebook and Twitter pages to lend their support.

"With social distancing and not being able to hold meetings things are proving difficult for everyone at the moment.

"But we also have the support of other groups such as the Ancre Somme association, Nitshill War Memorial Association, Inverkip War Memorial Association,Girvan and District and Barrhead war memorial associations."

Friends of Dennistoun War Memorial has four more weeks to gain signatures for the petition.

For more information or to sign, see: www.tinyurl.com/y4qgpbvn