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  1. ITV Report

Man and woman arrested for threatening a taxi driver and making reference to the New Zealand mosque massacre

Mourners gather at a makeshift memorial in Christchurch Photo: PA

Two people have been arrested in Rochdale for abusing a taxi driver and referencing the terrorist attacks in New Zealand.

Shortly after midnight officers were called to reports of a taxi driver being abused and threatened in Queensway by members of the public. They were said to reference the terrorist attacks in New Zealand.

The shooting in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killed 49 people.

Two people, a man aged 33 and a woman aged 34, were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences. They are to be interviewed later today.

It follows the arrest of a 24-year-old man in Oldham who was arrested after supporting the New Zealand massacre online, he has been bailed following further enquires.

Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Russ Jackson said:

The events which happened two days ago in New Zealand continue to cause huge upset with people of all faiths from across Greater Manchester.

“It is absolutely clear that compassion and support is how the overwhelming majority of people feel and, as always, Greater Manchester stands together.

“Over the weekend we have had, however, a small number of incidents where people have either posted or made remarks referencing the horrible events in New Zealand, particularly online where people often think it is acceptable to abuse others.

“Some of these comments are frankly disgusting. I am amazed how some people think it is acceptable to make such careless and disrespectful remarks.

“People are entitled to free speech and this is always respected, however, where this crosses the boundary into criminal offences, let me be really clear, we will make arrests and if the evidence is there we will seek the prosecution of those involved.”

– Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, Greater Manchester Police