'Reassurance patrols' stepped up by Northamptonshire police near county's mosques following mass shooting in New Zealand
Northamptonshire Police has issued a statement of 'deepest condolences' following the attack on two New Zealand mosques today.
At least 49 people have been shot dead and 48 injured in attacks at two mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch earlier today (March 15). It is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history.
Superintendent Dennis Murray of Northamptonshire Police has now issued a statement saying he has stepped up 'reassurance patrols' around the county's mosques, but says there is no 'increased threat' in Northamptonshire.
He said: “We are shaken by the tragic events in New Zealand and offer our deepest condolences to all those who are affected by this terrorist act.
“Our local communities will naturally have concerns, however, I would like to reiterate that there is no increased threat to Northamptonshire.
“We have sent out local messages to our communities through our engagement officers who maintain close thinks with the community.
“We have increased reassurance patrols around mosques and will be engaging with communities of all faiths. If anyone is affected by the attack, they can contact their local officers for support.
“While we will continue to monitor our local position, our advice to the communities is to be aware of the national Run, Hide, Tell advice and for anyone with concerns about suspicious activity to call the Anti-Terror Hotline on 0800 789 321, or in an emergency dial 999.
“We are supporting the New Zealand Police request not to share the distressing images from the terrorist attack and appeal to the public and press to support us in this.
“We will work closely with our communities against those who seek to cause fear and divide.”
A man in his late 20s has been arrested and charged with murder over the killings. Two other armed suspects are being held in custody.
Chair of the Northamptonshire Muslim Police Association Sophia Perveen, said: “This is a sad day for Muslims, who remain horrified by the barbaric actions of a select number of terrorists.
“I would like to offer my reassurance to the local communities that our officers are there to support anyone who has concerns and would reiterate the advice of the force around protection for places of worship.”