PATROLS are being stepped up around mosques in Greater Manchester following the terrorist shootings in New Zealand.

Forty nine people have been killed and more than 20 others have been seriously injured at two mosques in Christchurch after at gunmen opened fire on worshippers.

Now, police chiefs in Greater Manchester have said patrols will be stepped up around mosques in the area to reassure worshippers.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson from Greater Manchester Police, said: “The events which happened overnight in New Zealand are saddening and truly shocking, made worse, if it could be, by the targeting of a specific part of the community.

“It is hard to imagine the scene and how difficult it is for everyone in New Zealand. No doubt this tragedy will shake the people of New Zealand for many, many years.

“In Manchester we know all too well the effects of terrorism and the pain it causes for families and communities; and while this has happened on the other side of the world the hurt is shared here in Greater Manchester as well as across the UK.

“Given how shocking this is people will understandably be very upset and perhaps worried, especially amongst our Muslim communities, and we will be working hard to reassure them and communities of all faiths.

“We have nothing to suggest a threat locally but regardless of this we want to reassure people and so we will be increasing patrols in and around local mosques. We are also making direct contact with trustees and representatives of mosques to explain what we are doing.

“If you have any concerns or questions please approach one of our officers and tell them.”