Rochdale Cenotaph: Two teenagers charged with criminal damage after war monument desecrated

Police officer standing in front of vandalism on Rochdale Cenotaph

Police guarded Rochdale Cenotaph after it was vandalised with 'free Palestine' graffiti

GB News
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 10/11/2023

- 11:09

Updated: 10/11/2023

- 12:19

Police launched an investigation after a Cenotaph was vandalised

Two teenagers have been charged after the Rochdale Cenotaph was vandalised with "free Palestine" graffiti.

One male has been charged with racially aggravated criminal damage, whilst the other male has been charged with racially aggravated criminal damage and theft.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Round said: “I hope the swift charges provide some reassurance to the public that our investigation is moving at pace.

"I understand the emotional distress that has been caused in the local community by the damage to the Cenotaph and our team of detectives will continue working tirelessly to hold those responsible to account.”

Cenotaph with barriers raised around it

Fears are rising that the Cenotaph could be targeted for protests on Remembrance Day

GB News

Police launched an investigation into the criminal damage on November 7 as Police Community Support Officers guarded the memorial overnight.

The two boys cannot be legally identified due to their ages and have been released on bail.

Chief Superintendent Nicky Porter, GMP Rochdale district commander said: "We will not tolerate the criminal disrespect of the town’s Memorial Gardens.

"And I hope the action we have already taken in response to these two incidents reassures our communities of that.


"We join communities across Rochdale in being deeply saddened by the incidents at the Cenotaph – the memorial is a particularly poignant reminder of those who have given their lives to our country, particularly at this time year."

In a separate incident on Monday, November 6, two teenagers were charged with intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance.

Tensions have been growing ahead of Saturday when thousands of pro-Palestine protesters are expected to take to the streets of London on Armistice Day.

More than 70,000 are set to travel to London on Saturday to protest against Israel's assault on Gaza - just a few hours after a two-minute silence will be held at the Cenotaph.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark RowleySir Mark Rowley has said the police will 'ensure that Remembrance and Armistice are not compromised'PA

Britain's most senior police officer, Sir Mark Rowley has rejected calls to ban pro-Palestine rallies on Armistice Day - stating he legally had "no power" to stop it.

The Metropolitan Police is said to have drafted in an extra thousand officers amid fears of clashes.

There are also fears that clashes could break out between pro-Palestine protesters and those planning to "team up" and "protect" the Cenotaph.

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