Manchester

Seven arrested for hate crimes after New Zealand mosque shootings

Residents look at flowers in tribute to victims in Christchurch on 18 March Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A tribute to victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks

Seven people have been arrested for hate crimes in Greater Manchester over the Christchurch mosque shootings as one man called the gunman a "hero".

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has received 11 reports of offensive behaviour related to the attack, with nine of them online.

Two of the arrests were for a racially-aggravated public order offence involving a taxi driver.

Fifty people died in the twin shootings in New Zealand on Friday.

Russ Jackson, assistant chief constable of GMP, said the arrests were mostly for stirring up racial hatred or malicious communications.

Mr Jackson said: "In one example a man uses truly offensive words to describe Muslims, hoping Muslims die and saying the attacker is his hero."

'Horrible'

He added: "The tiny number of people who chose to make horrible comments are isolated. Put simply, it's time for some decency, some understanding and some tolerance."

A 38-year-old woman from Rochdale was arrested after posting comments online; as well as a 24-year-old man from Oldham.

A taxi driver was allegedly abused in Rochdale by passengers referencing the New Zealand attacks.

Sean Allen, 33, and Natalie Rudman, 34, are charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

Mr Allen, from Collyhurst, and Ms Rudman, from Heywood, will appear at Manchester Magistrates' Court on 9 April.

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