An AIDS memorial in Manchester’s Gay Village was destroyed and set on fire over the weekend, and police have now arrested three men they believe to be responsible for the crime.
The vandals smashed tiles that had been placed on the Beacon of Hope monument as a tribute to those who have lost their lives to the HIV virus, and also ripped up photos of the deceased before sending them up in flames.
All three men were arrested on the spot on suspicions of criminal damage, and two of the three have since been charged.
Manchester Evening News reports that the monument at the Beacon of Hope is the only permanent memorial in the UK for people living with or who have died from HIV or AIDS.
The Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that the incident is not being treated as a hate crime.