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Increased patrol following New Zealand shootings

15 Mar 2019

Extra patrols have been put on close to mosques as reassurance following the shootings in New Zealand.

Additional officers will be patrolling areas to speak to community members after the incident which left more than 49 dead. Chief Constable Jon Boutcher will also be visiting mosques to give condolences and offer support.

Mr Boutcher said: “What happened in New Zealand was truly unimaginable, particularly in a country which is considered safe from such inhuman behaviour.

"Hatred and division because of difference leads to unthinkable consequences. When will people realise that our differences are our strengths?

“We have flown the force flag at half-mast this afternoon during afternoon prayers to express condolences for the victims and their families. I will be visiting mosques in Luton to pay my respects and walking around Bury Park to reassure friends.

“As always our strength in the face of such evil is togetherness. We will continue to work with all of our communities and partners across Luton and all of Bedfordshire to tackle hatred and ensure our communities are protected.

"Our thoughts are with everyone in New Zealand.” Luton’s communities have also strongly condemned the mosque attacks in Christchurch overnight. Luton Council Leader Cllr Hazel Simmons MBE, said: "We are absolutely heartbroken to hear the tragic news coming out of New Zealand today. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this horrific terrorist attack.

“It beggars belief that innocent people in places of worship were targeted in this way. The news has sent shockwaves around the world including within our own communities. Luton remains united against extremism in all its forms and will make sure it must never prevail."

Rehana Faisal, representing both the Sunni and Luton Council of Mosques, said: “There are many questions to be asked over the coming days and weeks. However, today we choose to stand in mourning at the devastating loss of our brothers and sisters and extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones.

“We pray that Allah, glorious and exalted, opens up the gates of Heaven to our brothers and sisters and that he grants their families, and all of us, the strength and courage to face the challenge of the coming days.”

Chair of the Luton Council of Faiths, Zafor Khan, added: “This is yet another tragedy for humanity - and our hearts go out to all those who have lost their loved ones as a result of this horrendous crime, but at times like this, we in Luton will all stand shoulder to shoulder and show our joint solidarity.”

Places of worship can utilise the online training package ‘ACT Awareness eLearning’ for advice on Protective Security and how to react should the worst happen. It can be found here. People are also encouraged to be aware of the Run, Hide, Tell advice.

Anyone with concerns about someone becoming radicalised can get advice and support through the PREVENT programme at www.LTAI.info

 

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