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Manchester attack: Hate crime reports double since suicide bombing, police chief says

Ian Hopkins speaks out against 'the hate-filled views that we've seen from a very small minority of the community'

Jon Sharman
Friday 26 May 2017 18:21 BST
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester Police
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester Police (Sky News)

Reports of hate crime in Greater Manchester have doubled since Monday night's suicide bombing, the area's police chief has said.

Chief constable Ian Hopkins said on Friday that from 28 reports on Monday, "which is our normal average for a day", his force had seen a spike to 56 reports on Wednesday.

"Manchester has come together this week, the public has seen that. It's important that we continue to stand together.

"Particularly standing together against some of the hate-filled views that we've seen from a very small minority of the community that have no place here in Greater Manchester.

"Whilst we can't directly link these to the events of Monday night, we're continuing to monitor the situation and support our communities.

"I've sent a personal message to the faith leaders and places of worship across Greater Manchester today and thanked them for their support."

Asked how long the UK's threat level would remain at "critical", Mr Hopkins said it was a matter for the Joint Terrorism Assessment Centre, but added: "Whilst we've made enormous progress with the investigation, there's still work to do."

Twelve locations across Greater Manchester had been searched and "thousands of exhibits" seized, he added.

The UK's top counter-terror cop, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police, also released a statement on Friday afternoon.

He said: "We are focusing on understanding Abedi's life; forensically examining a number of scenes, reviewing hours of CCTV from the night itself and before, financial work, communication, digital exhibits, the accounts from hundreds of witnesses and of course enquiries internationally.

"Eight men remain in police custody and we continue to make significant progress.

"There still remain important lines of enquiry that will further build our confidence and understanding of the events that led to this ghastly attack. That will enable those who set the threat level to revise their judgment.

"Whilst we remain at ‘critical’ our aim is simple – we are working with event organisers to advise and support them so everyone in this country can go to the hundreds of events that are on and simply relax and enjoy their bank holiday.

"A complete review of the plans for over 1,300 events across the country has been carried out by specialist security officers and policing has been stepped up."

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