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Rochdale Cenotaph is graffitied with ‘Free Palestine’ ahead of Remembrance Sunday
7 November 2023, 20:55 | Updated: 7 November 2023, 20:59
Rochdale’s Cenotaph has been vandalised with the words “Free Palestine”, causing police to guard the war memorial ahead of Armistice Day on Sunday.
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Police Community Support Officers have now taken stand around the memorial after police said the area was “currently a crime scene”.
The incident took place shortly after 4pm on Tuesday afternoon, police said, as they continue their investigation. Greater Manchester Police did not provide any further details.
Local police are also performing patrols around the area following the recent spate of incidents ahead of Remembrance Sunday.
Rochdale Borough Council said: "On the afternoon of Tuesday 7 November graffiti was sprayed on the Cenotaph. This is totally unacceptable and is also being investigated by police. The graffiti will be removed as soon as we are able to.
“As we said in our initial response – we are proud of our strong links with our armed forces community. Our war memorials and monuments are incredibly important and should be respected by everyone at all times."
It comes after a previous incident on Monday that saw poppies stripped away from the site. Two teenagers were arrested and charged with intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance.
Rochdale Council yesterday called the incident a 'totally unacceptable' act as it continues to be investigated. Rochdale’s Cenotaph was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens - the same designer of the Cenotaph at Whitehall.
Whitehall will on Sunday stage the National Service of Remembrance.