The official advice from the Metropolitan Police about the live video of the horrendous attack on the Christchurch mosque is ’Stop sharing, start praying’. Media reports indicate that the gunman had two goals, the first being to kill as many people as possible and the second to make himself famous.
None of us can do anything about the slaughter of innocents at prayer but all of us can frustrate a murderer’s warped quest for fame by deleting the Facebook video and to stop sharing it via social media or email.
Note: You can find an update to the Cannon Street Road incident further down the page.
LW understands that some people may have shared the video with others simply as a confused instinctive reaction to the attack without fully comprehending its contents.
Some might consider this an excuse for sharing the video as opposed to a genuine reason. That is understandable but all of us, especially in Tower Hamlets, have been left stunned by the sheer evil of the attack in New Zealand and a minority may have reacted by instinctively sharing the video.
No excuses for sharing video
That said there is now no reason whatsoever for any of us to either view, possess or share a video of 49 innocent people being murdered.
We would not view a video of our own families and friends being gunned down while at prayer so there is no excuse for watching the deaths of others.
The morality of anyone who continues to share the Facebook video must now be questioned in the same way that any right-minded person condemns those broadcasters and newspapers who continue to use imagery of the Christchurch attack as click bait to increase profits.
We as individuals and as members of a community are better than that.
LW has been in touch with Tower Hamlets police since yesterday and has been told that there are lots of officers out and about providing reassurance and that hate crime packs are being given out to the mosques in the borough.
Statement by Sue Williams, Tower Hamlets police
Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Williams who is in charge of policing for both Hackney and Tower Hamlets Boroughs has also put out a message for everyone.
“In light of the tragic incident in New Zealand, we are doing our utmost in response to reassure our communities.
Our two faith officers have been tasked to make contact with the faith leaders in both Hackney and Tower Hamlets.
Our dedicated Counter-Terrorism vehicle has been fully briefed and will be increasing their high visibility patrols.
A Community Impact assessment is being completed, and at this time, we have seen no rise in hate crimes being reported.
In addition, the Security Review Committee is meeting this morning and will be discussing our policing response across London.
If we receive any more information, we will let you know.”
Statement by Neil Basu, MPS Counter Terrorism chief
In addition, Met Police deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu, the National Policing Lead for Counter-Terrorism, has issued this statement.
“Today we will be stepping up reassurance patrols around mosques and increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves.
Places of worship can also utilise our online training package ‘ACT Awareness eLearning’ for advice on Protective Security and how to react should the worst happen. We’d also encourage everyone to be aware of our Run, Hide, Tell advice.
We stand together with our Muslim communities and all those shocked and horrified by this terrorist attack in New Zealand.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Williams asks that any community leaders who have any further issues or questions to not hesitate to contact her.
Update: Cannon Street Road incident
‘No evidence to suggest at this stage of the investigation that the Mosque was the intended target’ This from Tower Hamlets police:
“On 15/03/2019 at 1320 hours there was an assault in the vicinity of
the Ashaadibi Centre, E1. One male was injured and has since been
discharged from hospital. The incident is being investigated by
specialist safeguarding officers from Bethnal Green Police Station.
There is no evidence to suggest at this stage of the investigation that
the Mosque was the intended target. Enquires continue to identify and
arrest the suspects for this offence. Should the community have any
multimedia footage of this incident or any information relating to it they
are asked to contact Bethnal Green Police Station.”
Anyone with information about the Cannon Street Road incident is urged to call police on 101 quoting CAD 3563/15MAR or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.