An investigation is under way after trespassers were spotted on the future site of a memorial for the Manchester Arena terror attack victims.
The Glade of Light memorial garden is not yet open to the public and is still a building site.
Two of the bereaved families witnessed hundreds of people walking through the area on Sunday, the BBC reported, with claims of people seen vomiting and openly smoking drugs on the site.
Manchester City Council said it had sent a security team to guard the site overnight in response to the claims, while councillor Pat Karney said an investigation would be launched “as a matter of urgency”.
Mr Karney said in a statement to the BBC: “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.
“We utterly condemn this mindless and disrespectful behaviour and will not hesitate to take action against those involved.”
Caroline Curry, whose 19-year-old son Liam was killed, and Claire Brewster, who lost her sister Kelly and was herself seriously injured, claimed they had spent hours trying to guard the site themselves, with Ms Curry labelling the actions of the trespassers “disgusting”.
Located within Manchester’s Medieval Quarter, The Glade of Light memorial will feature a white marble halo ring with the names of the victims inscribed upon it.
It is “designed to be a living memorial, a tranquil garden space for remembrance and reflection”, according to a statement on the council’s website.
“Its peaceful surroundings are also intended as the setting for commemorative events in the city relating to the attack.”
Twenty-two men, women and children lost their lives in the attack at the arena in May 2017 and hundreds more were injured when Salman Abedi detonated a bomb.
An inquiry into the attack heard that Abedi had been investigated as a “subject of interest” by MI5 between March and July 2014, three years before the attack, and appeared in two further investigations.
But “obsessive secrecy” may have limited opportunities to stop him from carrying out the attack because intelligence was not shared with the wider community, the inquiry heard.