VANDALISM on Brighton’s war memorial means a whole carved panel must be replaced at an estimated cost of well over £1,000.

As The Argus reported yesterday, the Old Steine War Memorial has been defaced and the word Palestine appears to have been chipped away or eroded.

The damage, which a stonemason says could have been caused by acid, cannot be repaired so a new panel will have to be carved.

Now the city council is looking to beef up security in the area with CCTV.

Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett has called for people to turn in the “disgusting animals” responsible for the damage.

She said: “Someone knows the sick person behind this attack and I urge them to come forward.”

Former Royal Navy instructor and now Conservative group leader Tony Janio said: “I just can’t believe someone would do such a thing. What must go through the mind of an individual to desecrate a war memorial? I can’t adequately describe how I feel. I think it’s terrible, this memorial means lot to people in this city.”

Expert stonemason Gary Boxall said he was cautious about giving an opinion on what might have caused the damage without carrying out a thorough inspection.

He said the damage looked similar to normal weathering but the fact the erosion was concentrated in one place suggested it could have been caused by an acid or limescale remover.

He said the panel could cost about £1,400 to replace.

The panel bears the names of nations in which British servicemen and women have died.

A council spokesman said: “It appears that the word on the stone panel was targeted but as this is etched into the stone we are unable to repair the damage.

“A quotation has therefore been requested from our stonemason to replace the whole panel with identical wording and we are exploring the possibility of putting up a CCTV camera.”