Updated: Thursday, 20th September 2018 @ 10:07am

Arson attack at Newton Heath Islamic Centre one day after theft of CCTV cameras investigated as hate crime

Arson attack at Newton Heath Islamic Centre one day after theft of CCTV cameras investigated as hate crime

| By George Bellshaw

An arson attack at a Newton Heath Islamic centre is being investigated by police as a potential hate crime.

The police are appealing for witnesses in relation to the premeditated attack that saw a minibus belonging to the centre set ablaze after their CCTV cameras had been snatched the night before.

Officers were called to the fire at The Islamic Centre on Regent Street at around 1:20am on Saturday morning.

Inspector Chris Hadfield said: “We believe the two incidents are linked and that the theft of the CCTV cameras was meant to help them carry out their arson attack on the minibus without being recorded. 

“Fortunately there are several other cameras that capture the rear of the Islamic Centre where the attack took place.” 

Officers were called to The Islamic Centre on Friday night at 11.25pm and found that two security cameras had been ripped off the front of the building.

The two offenders were described as black men, wearing black clothes and scarves to cover their faces.

Following the incident, two men, again dressed in black clothing, were spotted fleeing the scene. 

Inspector Hadfield stated: “It is vital that we get potential witnesses to come forward with any information they may have. 

“We are investigating the possibility that this is a targeted hate crime and we will be working closely with our partners in the council and local community to try and track down the people responsible and prevent such an attack happening again.”

If you have any information relating to the incident, please call the police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Image courtesy of thirtyfootscrew, via flickr, with thanks