Two people who are alleged to have referenced the Christchurch mosque shootings when threatening a taxi driver have been arrested.
A 33-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences after Greater Manchester Police were called to Queensway, Rochdale.
Officers arrived at the scene shortly before 12.20am on Sunday in response to ‘a report of a taxi driver being abused and threatened by members of the public who were referencing the terrorist attacks in
Officers arrived at Queensway, Rochdale (stock image) shortly before 12.20am on Sunday in response to a suspected racially aggravated offence
The country suffered one of its ‘darkest days’ on Friday when a gunman opened fire on worshippers at Al Noor and Linswood mosques, killing 50.
The latest series of arrests comes after a 38-year-old woman from Rochdale was arrested after posting comments online about the mass shootings.
And a 24-year-old man from Oldham was arrested on Saturday after posting comments on social media supporting the killings.
People lay flowers and tributes by the wall of the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch today
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden described the country’s shootings as one it its ‘darkest days’
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.
‘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.
‘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
Christchurch was put on lockdown following the shooting, and New Zealand’s threat level raised to the second-highest, though the Prime Minister said there is no reason to believe other attackers were at large