bring back the birch. lets see how "cool" they look when they are tied over a bench outside the courthouse and have some joss type thrash their little lily arses with a twig tickler. going for a lie down in a dark room now. rant over.
Maybe one of them pissed off by being called 'ginger' by his Cadet Sgt and wanted to take it out on society!
Seriously though. I suspect in reality that they had little idea of the significance of their actions. Hitting them is not the solution. What is needed is for someone to explain the significance of the poppy and for whom the collection is for - perhaps a couple of war injured veterans. That is likely to have more impact that hitting them and creating more resentment in them. That achieves nothing.
AAC, I think they probably had a fairly good idea what the poppy is all about. Whilst they may not exactly know its true meaning, my betting is that they were all too aware of its significance enough to make a fast buck.
Is nothing sacred anymore? With any luck they will one day end up on the wrong side of a servicemen and have their thieving hands trodden on.