Northumbria Police to step up patrols after London terror attack
Northumbria Police is to step up patrols around places of worship - including mosques - after this morning's terror attack in London.
One man died after pedestrians were targeted by a man driving a van near Finsbury Park Mosque in north London early today, in what Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said was 'quite clearly an attack on Muslims.'
Witnesses described hearing the man, who was detained by members of the public at the scene, shout: "I'm going to kill Muslims."
The suspect, described as a large white man, was arrested by police on suspicion of attempted murder.
The attacker, who is believed to have acted alone, struck as the area was busy with worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at the mosque.
Northumbria Police has sent a message of support to local communities after the tragedy,
Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan said: "We know our communities will be concerned following the tragic events in London overnight which has seen one person killed and many more injured.
"The incident outside of Finsbury Park mosque in North London is being treated as terrorism by the Metropolitan Police and a man has been arrested.
"It will be concerning for members of the public here in Northumbria but we want to reassure people that there is nothing to suggest there is any specific threat to our communities in Northumbria.
"The national threat level has not changed and currently remains at 'severe' but there will be additional patrols in our region to make local people feel safe.
Those additional patrols will also take place around all places of worship, including mosques, but again we would reiterate that there is no intelligence to suggest that these are at threat.
"There will also be increased patrols and engagement at prayer time during this final week of Ramadan.
"High visible patrols, including armed officers, will continue to take place in high footfalls areas such as the city centres and around transport hubs as they have done since last year.
"Members of the public should not be concerned about the patrols and we would encourage you to approach our officers and speak to them. We are there to protect you and keep you safe.
"Neighbourhood officers and community engagement teams across the force will be speaking to local community groups to offer reassurance throughout the week."
Members of the public are reminded to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police or by calling the Anti-Hotline on 0800 789 321 or visit www.gov.uk/ACT