“MEETINGS are to take place between police and Muslim leaders after a Redditch mosque was attacked and racist graffiti, including swastikas, was painted on the building.
The damage at the mosque in Jinnah Road was caused between 2am and shortly before 4.30am this morning, when it was discovered by a targeted police patrol.
Graffiti including swastikas had been sprayed onto walls and at least six windows, using paint taken from builders’ cabins on the site, which is still under construction.
Photo from BBC news website
Entry to the site was forced via a gate and the intruders then broke into the main building. It is not known at this stage whether anything has been stolen.
Police have informed mosque representatives and are currently guarding the site and carrying out local reassurance patrols. Forensic examinations are ongoing.
North Worcestershire police commander, Superintendent Kevin Purcell, said: “For as long as I can remember the relationship between the Muslim community in Redditch, the police and the wider community would best be described as excellent.
Photo from BBC news website
“Due to incidents happening nationally targeted patrols have been put in place and these will now be further increased as we will not tolerate mindless attacks of this nature.
“I will be arranging meetings with the chairs of the mosques, local civic leaders and the Independent Advisory Group to reassure them of our commitment and determination to do everything possible to prevent any further such incidents and track down those responsible for this attack.”
Meanwhile in Worcester..
Two women subjected to “vile tirade” of racist abuse
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New image of man who racially assaulted taxi driver in Worcester
“DESPITE some early unrest and a number of arrests the EDL march passed off largely peacefully. Around 40 EDL supporters gathered for an assembly at the bandstand and about 200 counter demonstrators gathered in Easemore Road.
By the time the assemblies had dispersed there had been only three arrests – one for a breach of the peace and two on suspicion of assault.They were all men and believed to have been attached to the counter EDL demonstration. All three were taken to a police station in Worcestershire.
After listening to speeches at the bandstand, EDL supporters were escorted by police back to the railway station where they had arrived earlier. Counter demonstrators then held a short gathering at the bandstand before dispersing.
Superintendent Adrian Pass of West Mercia Police said: “There were very few problems during the build-up to and during the assemblies and there have been no reports of damage to property. “The success of the operation is due to a number of factors, not least the support from partner agencies who helped in preparing the town for today’s event and the fantastic co-operation we have had from the public.
“A significant number of officers and staff were involved in policing the protest and we would like to pay tribute to the professionalism of our colleagues from British Transport Police and neighbouring forces who were involved.
We are grateful for their support.” Superintendent Pass said that in the main supporters of both rallies had been good natured and officers had encountered very few problems. He said: “I realise that this has been a challenging time for everybody but the fact that the demonstrations have passed off largely without incident vindicates the decisions taken by us and our partners while planning our operation.
“What arrests there have been have followed isolated incidents and our officers on the ground responded to these and dealt with them quickly and robustly. “This was a great effort by the whole community and it is a tribute to all those involved that the town is calm and everything is returning to normal so quickly.””
Report taken from The Redditch Advertiser ..pics from elsewhere.
Update – There are now plans to set-up a Redditch Against Fascism group according to this article in The Redditch Standard.