Christchurch shooting: Security increased at mosques around the world

UK police are to advise religious institutions on how to protect themselves

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 15: Police speak to a resident as they cordon off Linwood Avenue near the Linwood Masjid on March 15, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. 49 people have been confirmed dead and more than 20 are injured following attacks at two mosques in Christchurch. Four people are in custody following shootings at Al Noor mosque on Dean's Road and the Linwood Masjid in Christchurch. Mosques across New Zealand have been closed and police are urging people not to attend Friday prayers as a safety precaution. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)
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Police forces faround the world have stepped up their security measures near to mosques following the terrorist attack that targeted New Zealand’s Muslim community and killed at least 49 people.

US, UK and French police forces were among those to publicly react to the threat.

New York City Police said it had deployed extra officers to visit mosques during early morning prayers to allow the “freedom to practice your religion freely without fear”.

British authorities said it would continue to work with intelligence partners to monitor potential threats in and around places of worship.

“Today we will be stepping up reassurance patrols around mosques and increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves,” Neil Basu, the police’s counter terrorism lead said.

Greater Manchester Police said there was nothing to suggest a threat locally  “but regardless of this we want to reassure people and so we will be increasing patrols in and around local mosques. We are also making direct contact with trustees and representatives of mosques to explain what we are doing”.

Two years ago a suicide bomber killed 33 people after detonating his explosives at Manchester Arena.

The city's Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said: “In Manchester we know all too well the effects of terrorism and the pain it causes for families and communities; and while this has happened on the other side of the world the hurt is shared here in Greater Manchester as well as across the UK.

Security Minister Ben Wallace said the UK was offering assistance to New Zealand authorities. Scottish police said they would be offering all faiths advice on how people and places can protect themselves.

France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner confirmed there would be police patrols held around religious sites.