Families of those who died in the Manchester Arena terror attack say are 'sickened' after trespassers were seen 'vomiting and urinating' at a memorial honouring their memory.
The Glade of Light memorial, in Manchester city centre, is currently under construction and does not officially open until the new year.
But two bereaved families say they saw hundreds walking through the area on Sunday 5 December - with claims of people vomiting and openly using drugs.
An investigation has now been launched by Manchester City Council into the 'mindless incident' and work out what happened.
Claire Brewster, who lost her sister Kelly, 32, and was seriously injured herself, and Caroline Curry, whose 19-year-old son Liam was killed in the bombing, say they arrived at the memorial, which is centred around a white stone 'halo' bearing the names of the 22 people who were murdered in May 2017, to find the fencing had been moved.
Claire said she had to stop someone "trampling" over the memorial and begged people to not disrespect their families.
Tweeting about the incident she said: "We had to move someone on from being sick and watch numerous others smoke weed or urinate right at the side of the memorial!!
"Manchester please, I am begging you, treat this memorial as special! Pay your respects when it’s open, please don’t disrespect our families."
She added: "The Glade of Light is a beautiful tribute and it deserves complete respect and protection."
Caroline said she had also "witnessed urinating, vomiting, attempted theft and drug use" and was "absolutely furious" at what had happened.
Responding to one of Caroline's tweets, Figen Murray, the mum of Martyn Hett, 29, who also lost his life in the attack, said: "Not quite what we all thought it would be. So sad."
Councillor Pat Karney, the council's city centre spokesman, said a security team was sent to the memorial on Sunday night.
Cllr Karney (Lab) said: "We are investigating the incident as a matter of urgency to find out exactly what happened, how the fencing came down in the first place, and what's needed to keep the site secure.
"The whole area is covered by CCTV and if footage shows it was due to the deliberate actions of mindless thugs rather than a problem with the fencing itself, we will pass this information on to the police.
"There can be no excuse for the kind of behaviour in and around the memorial site witnessed by the bereaved relatives last night.
"We utterly condemn this mindless and disrespectful behaviour and will not hesitate to take action against those involved."
Greater Manchester Police said: "A report of vandalism was made to us at around 7.20pm last night. We are investigating and no arrests have been made."
It added that any information should be reported to police online, if able, or via 101 quoting incident 2632 of 05/12/2021.