Pair arrested for threatening Muslim taxi driver with references to New Zealand mosque attacks

The pair threatened the Muslim taxi driver with references to the double mosque attack in New Zealand.

A man and a woman have been arrested after they threatened a Muslim taxi driver with references to the double mosque atrocities in New Zealand, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has said.

A woman aged 34 and a man aged 33 were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences in Rochdale after midnight on Sunday morning.

The pair were customers of the taxi driver and have been interviewed by detectives.

They were arrested after police officers were called to Queensway just before 12.20am.

GMP said it had been informed to several incidents of alleged racially and religiously-motivated abuse in the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, where 50 worshippers were killed on Friday 15 March.

Police arrested a Rochdale woman aged 38 on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence yesterday morning “following comments made online about the New Zealand attack”.

A 24-year-old man from Oldham was arrested on Saturday after he posted a status on Facebook “supporting” the white supremacist terrorist attack in New Zealand. He was held on suspicion of sending malicious communications.

GMP’s assistant chief constable, Russ Jackson, said: “The events which happened two days ago in New Zealand continue to cause huge upset with people of all faiths from across Greater Manchester.

“It is absolutely clear that compassion, support is how the overwhelming majority of people feel and, as always, Greater Manchester stands together.

“Over the weekend we have had, however, a small number of incidents where people have either posted or made remarks referencing the horrible events in New Zealand, particularly online where people often think it is acceptable to abuse others.

“Some of these comments are frankly disgusting. I am amazed how some people think it is acceptable to make such careless and disrespectful remarks.

“People are entitled to free speech and this is always respected, however, where this crosses the boundary into criminal offences, let me be really clear, we will make arrests and if the evidence is there we will seek the prosecution of those involved.”

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