South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner condemns terror attacks on New Zealand mosques
South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has condemned terror attacks on two New Zealand mosques.
The latest death toll from mass shootings in Christchurch stood at 49 earlier this morning.
COURT: Killer drug dealer who fatally stabbed Sheffield dad is jailed for life Four arrests have been made over the attacks, with a man in his late 20s charged with murder.
He has not yet been officially named.
South Yorkshire’s PCC, Dr Alan Billings, said: “The attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, was an act of gross cowardice and an assault on all religions. “It shows clearly why we have to learn to live with differences, especially in a world that is becoming ever more plural. “Hate crimes, however small, need to be dealt with, not least because where hatreds breed, violent acts of this kind can be contemplated by a few malcontents. “In South Yorkshire, whatever community we come from, we will all stand together to stop our communities being places of fear or division. “I want to reassure members of the Muslim community that South Yorkshire police will do everything necessary to ensure their safety.”
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New Zealand's former prime minister, Helen Clark, said: "This is not what we know New Zealand for.
"A hate crime like this, a terrorist crime like this, specifically targeted at a particular population, we have not had."
She added: "It is a watershed moment because New Zealand has watched these events happening in other parts of the world, and I suppose we tended to think: 'Thank heavens we live in New Zealand.'
"Now such a crime has come to us, and this will be a cause for profound reflection in New Zealand. How could such people have been in our community and prepared to carry out a heinous crime like this?"