UK: Three arrested after Gay Village memorial is trashed

Tribute tiles were smashed and photographs burnt and torn up at the Beacon of Hope in Sackville Gardens

8/1/2017- Three men have been arrested after a memorial in the Gay Village was trashed and set alight. Police were called to the Beacon of Hope in Sackville Gardens at around 1.15am on Sunday morning. Tribute tiles places on the monument had been smashed, and photographs of the deceased had been torn up and burnt. Greater Manchester Police said three men, aged 22, 23, and 33, were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and remain in custody. Two of those have since been charged. One witness claims he saw the men throwing slates which had been placed there in memory of someone. He said police arrived and all three were removed from the gardens in handcuffs.

The Beacon of Hope is the UK’s only permanent memorial for people living with or who have lost their lives to HIV or AIDS. It was designed by Warren Chapman and Jess Boyn-Daniel and was built in Sackville Gardens 2000. A spokesman for GMP confirmed the incident was not being treated as a hate crime. They said: “At about 1.15am 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. They remain in police custody for questioning. “Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”
The Manchester Evening News.

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