Woolwich killing: Police to patrol mosques in Camden and Barnet to ‘reassure community’ after barbaric killing

PUBLISHED: 15:52 23 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:14 23 May 2013

Cllr Abdul Hai said there will be a visible police presence around mosques. Picture: Polly Hancock

Cllr Abdul Hai said there will be a visible police presence around mosques. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

Police will patrol mosques in Camden and Barnet following the barbaric killing of a soldier in Woolwich.

Officers will increase their visible presence on the streets in an effort to reassure the public.

Cllr Abdul Hai, Camden Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “We do have a large Muslim population in Camden and I’m mindful of that, and that’s why we’re communicating with police colleagues to ensure during the prayer times, there will be an additional police presence around the mosques to help reassure the community.”

He added: “We’re liaising with the faith communities, providing contact details both for the council and police. We will ensure there’s a high visible presence in particular around mosques.”

There have been no reports of tensions in Camden or Barnet and police have no specific intelligence to suggest there will be any disorder.

But members of far-right group the English Defence League clashed with police near Woolwich Arsenal train station yesterday, while there have reportedly been arrests over attempted attacks on mosques elsewhere.

Ch Supt BJ Harrington, Camden’s borough commander, said: “There is no direct threat known, but as you would expect, we will continue to take proportionate steps to monitor and patrol in order to reassure all of Camden’s communities.”

London Assembly member Andrew Dismore (Labour), who represents Barnet and Camden, said he has contacted all the Mosques in the two boroughs, as well as members of the Jewish community, “to offer any assistance they require”.

He said police are “taking necessary steps needed for community cohesion and safety”.

Mr Dismore also called for calm and branded far right protesters who might use the incident to justify violence as “shameful”.

He said: “What happened yesterday in Woolwich is truly horrific. My thoughts go out to all the family and friends of the serviceman murdered in a brutal act of violence.

“Whilst we now reflect on what happened, it is important that we let the police and senior ministers get on with investigating what happened – unhindered by politicians, as they did in the aftermath of previous terror attacks so that those responsible can be brought to justice.

“During this difficult time we call for calm, despite the anger that people obviously feel. Far right protesters attempting to use this to justify acts of violence against one community are shameful.

“Earlier today we made contact with both the Jewish community and all mosques in Barnet and Camden to offer any assistance they require. I have been briefed by the police and am confident that they are taking necessary steps needed for community cohesion and safety.”

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