A memorial in Manchester’s Gay Village has been targeted by vandals. The incident took place earlier this week according to Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
The memorial – The Beacon of Hope – pays tribute to those who lost their lives to AIDS/HIV. It is one of the only permanent memorials in the UK that is dedicated to these people.
Manchester’s Pride weekend comes to a close with a candlelit vigil by the memorial, where people pay their respects to and remember the deceased.
Reports claim that photographs of those who lost their lives were burnt in the incident and tiles from the memorial were smashed.
GMP released a statement following the incident:
“At about 1:15 AM on January 8, police were called to Sackville Gardens in Manchester city centre, to a report that the tribute tiles placed on the Beacon of Hope monument had been damaged.
“Officers attended and three men aged 22, 23, and 33 were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage”.
Of the three men that were arrested, two have now been charged with criminal damage. They are both scheduled to appear in court on 24 January. The remaining man – the 33-year-old – currently remains in custody.
GMP has reportedly stated that they are not treating the incident as a hate crime. It is unclear at this stage what the motivation of the perpetrators was.