Kent Police are taking a zero tolerance approach to any religiously or racially aggravated attacks in the wake of the Woolwich murder.
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Police have released CCTV footage of a man they wish to speak to in connection with a suspected arson attack on a disused pub in Gillingham. On Friday 7 June at 11.40pm cameras captured a man, who appeared to smash a window of the former Black Lion in Mill Road.
Over the next hour the same man was seen to walk past the building on several occasions. Footage shows him peering through windows of the premises as a blaze begins to spread. By 12.40am the following morning the building was engulfed by flames.
Andrew Grindlay has appeared at Medway Magistrates court today (Fri 24 May) and has pleaded not guilty to religiously aggravated criminal damage and burglary at the mosque in Gillingham.
A man will appear before magistrates today charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage and burglary. It follows an incident at a mosque in Canterbury Street, Gillingham. The man has been named as Andrew John Grindlay, 45, from Rochester.
Kent Police say they have an increased amount of officers around the county following the incident in Woolwich on Wednesday, May 22 , which the Metropolitan Police are investigating. There are extra patrols in 'potentially vulnerable' communities.
Andrew John Grindlay, 45 from Rochester has been charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage and burglary. Police say it follows an incident at a religious building in Canterbury Street, Gillingham at 8.40pm on Wednesday, May 22. He will appear in court tomorrow.
Extra patrols are on the streets of Kent tonight after a mosque in Medway was vandalised. It happened hours after the murder of a soldier in London. The local MP has appealed for calm, saying the attack in Woolwich should not be allowed to divide the community.
Meanwhile, senior Kent Police officers have been meeting with community leaders to discuss the incident in Gillingham.
We speak to: Issa Rumjaun, chairman of Kent Muslim Welfare Association; Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge; Anwar Khan from the Kent Muslim Welfare Association and Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham.
Click video. Anwar Khan, spokesman for Kent Muslim Welfare Association, reflects on the murder in Woolwich and the damage to the mosque in Gillingham.
Inspecting the damage at a mosque in Gillingham last night, Issa Ramjaun, Chairman of the Kent Muslim Welfare Association, said it was "a great shame this has happened".
Police in Kent were called to reports of criminal damage at a mosque in Canterbury Street, Gillingham, at 8.40pm.
A spokesman said a man is in custody on suspicion of racially-aggravated criminal damage.