A young man was caught on camera urinating on a war memorial in Southampton during the recent pyjama-themed Carnage bar crawl. The cenotaph in Watts Park commemorates those who fell in the first and second world wars, bearing hundreds of names.
Carnage events are reported as problematic nationwide, despite numerous stewards present. At this event there were 55 stewards, plus 5 organisers present. It was timed to coincide with Freshers’ Weeks at both Southampton universities and hosted 1,000 students in multiple venues before concluding in The Square Balloon (Squares).
Last year a similar story provoked a fierce backlash against 19-year old Philip Laing, who had urinated on memorial wreathes of poppies. He narrowly escaped jail, leaving court with 250 hours of community service. The judge commented that Carnage UK were lucky to escape prosecution themselves.
Varsity Leisure Group, who organise Carnage UK events said, the company was “appalled” by the man’s behaviour and said they held a deep respect for those who lost their lives defending their country; “Anyone behaving in this manner will not be welcome at future VLG events.” They also, however, pointed out that almost a quarter of a million UK undergraduate and postgraduate students attend their events annually and the vast majority abide by the law.
This news has drawn comments both criticising the man captured on camera and the council for the lack of public toilets provided.
One student commented that “I personally can’t understand a society that would prefer unsupervised students roaming their town drinking, than a stewarded event where drink prices are higher than any student night.” They also commented that “the event is well organised and the stewards go beyond the call of duty.”
Another Carnage event is due to take place in Southampton on 21 October.