More offensive graffiti daubed on Preston mosque – BBC News

More offensive graffiti daubed on Preston mosque - BBC News

Man arrested in Preston mosque graffiti probe

Officers have been making a number of enquiries throughout the weekend and have this afternoon arrested a man in connection with the investigation.

Lancashire Police said: “A 47 year old man from Preston has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage.

The police investigation followed an initial report of hate crime on Friday April 19 when graffiti of a racist nature was found on the mosque in the same place.

Chief Inspector Gary Crowe of Preston Police, said earlier: “I would like to reassure people, especially worshippers in the area, that we are taking this extremely seriously.

“This is completely unacceptable, hateful vandalism and this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.

“We are working to get the most recent graffiti removed as quickly as possible and would like to thank the community for their support with our investigation so far.

“We will continue to maintain a presence in the area and are following up on forensic and CCTV enquiries.

A Muslim charity in Preston has issued a plea to meet with the graffiti artists behind recent hate crimes against a city mosque.

The Light Foundation has expressed shock at the targeting of the Masjid-e-Salaam in Watling Street Road.

A spokesman for the group said: “We are deeply shocked to see three separate incidents being reported to the police in a matter of a few days as Muslims wait in excitement for the month of Ramadan.

“This type of behaviour is unheard of in Preston, a peaceful and tolerant community, and has understandably created fear and anxiety.

“In a spirit of mutual co-operation, we would like to extend our hand – a further hand to what has already been extended by the brilliant, patient, resilient and compassion leadership team at Masjid-E-Salam, reaching out to those responsible for these recent and sustained attacks.

“If any of those, in which ever capacity are responsible for these messages, and are reading this – our humble request is to meet with you in a spirit of friendship and understanding, and to explore new ways of making our city even more enjoyable, diverse and peaceful to live in.”

The mosque saw graffiti scrawled on two pillars on its front fence on Friday (19 April) and the mosque was targeted against during Saturday (20 April) evening and on Sunday (21 April) morning.

Chief Inspector Gary Crowe said: There have now been three reports in a matter of days and this is understandably causing a lot of upset and concern in the local community. I would like to reassure people, especially worshippers in the area, that we are taking this extremely seriously.

This is completely unacceptable, hateful vandalism and this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.

We are working to get the most recent graffiti removed as quickly as possible and would like to thank the community for their support with our investigation so far.

We will continue to maintain a presence in the area and are following up on forensic and CCTV enquiries.

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