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Investigation launched after damage caused to Birmingham mosques

Police are investigating after five mosques in Birmingham had their windows smashed.

Police were called at 2.32am today (21 March) to reports of a man smashing windows with a sledgehammer at the mosque on Birchfield Road. 

Officers arrived within minutes, but soon established that the incident had happened some time earlier.

At 3.14am, police were alerted to a similar incident at the mosque on Slade Road, Erdington.

Police began patrols in areas with mosques and came across further damage at places of worship on Witton Road, Aston, and at Broadway, Perry Barr. 

Forensic officers are working to identify evidence, and CCTV is being examined.

Neighbourhood officers are carrying out proactive patrols and are working closely with mosques around the West Midlands today.

Additionally, at 10.04am today police were called to a mosque on Albert Road following reports that a window had just been smashed. At this stage, it is being treated as linked to the earlier incidents.

The motive behind the series is yet to be established but West Midlands Police and the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit are investigating.

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: "Since the tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, officers and staff from West Midlands Police have been working closely with our faith partners across the region to offer reassurance and support at mosques, churches and places of prayer.

"At the moment we don’t know the motive for last night’s attacks.  

“What I can say is that the force and the Counter Terrorism Unit are working side-by-side to find whoever is responsible.

"At difficult times like this, it is incredibly important that everyone unites against those who seek to create discord, uncertainty and fear in our communities.”

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "Attacks of this nature have no place in our community and will not be tolerated. I want to reassure people that West Midlands Police is doing all it can to bring the perpetrators to justice."

Anyone with information has been asked to contact police via Live Chat between 8am and midnight, via 101 any time, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.