POLICE have promised to step up patrols at mosques in Scotland following a terrorist attack in New Zealand. 

The move comes amid fears mosques in Renfrewshire could be targeted in copycat attacks. 

Forty-nine people were shot dead and 48 injured in attacks targeting Muslims at two mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch, in the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history.

The worst of the shootings occurred at Al Noor mosque, while ten of the victims were killed at the Linwood Islamic Centre, four miles (6km) away, in a Christchurch suburb. 

Police Scotland have revealed they have no reason to believe there are any specific threats to mosques in Scotland, but have promised to up patrols as a precaution. 

DCI Will Kerr said: “We are monitoring events in New Zealand closely and send out condolences to all those affected.

“There is no intelligence to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland.

“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.

“As ever, we would urge the public to get in touch to report anything suspicious by calling the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency by calling 999.”

Renfrewshire leading cop, Chief Superindendent Gordon Cross, added: "Thoughts go out to the families of victims Christchurch and emergency responders dealing with this attrocity.

"Listening to news reports outlining impact on the community, especially those who provided assistance to victims who died in their arms." 

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron has said she will be writing to the Mayor of Christchurch following the attack.

She told The Gazette said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by this horrific tragedy.

“We stand together with the people of New Zealand and offer our deepest sympathies at this most harrowing of times.

"I will be writing to the Mayor of Christchurch on behalf of Renfrewshire to offer our sincere condolences."

The thoughts of everyone at The Gazette are with the victims and their families. 

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