This is highly unusual for Walsall. Please don’t let the muppets of whatever group spoil what we have here. Walsall is safe and we need to stand together.
From West Midlands Police:
Community comes together to reassure worried Walsall residents
Superintendent Keith Fraser from Walsall Police stood shoulder to shoulder with Ziaul Haq, from the Ashia mosque, and Zahid Ali, from Walsall Council, to update local people who gathered with the media outside the building.
Supt Fraser described how police were called to the Rutter Street address at around 10.45pm last night (Saturday 22 June) following the discovery of the item in the grounds of the building the day before. He went on to say that the item was then brought inside the building the next day by a well meaning member of the public.
‘Officers were immediately dispatched and cordoned off an area around the building as a precaution,” he said.
‘Police officers, other emergency services and the army’s bomb disposal unit remain in attendance to ensure residents who were evacuated can return home as soon as possible.
‘Officers are continuing to work hard to establish what the item is and how it got there but the incident is being treated as a hate crime although the motive for placing the item near to the mosque remains unclear.’
Mosque spokesman, Mr Haq, said: “We didn’t think this item was serious, but called the police.
‘We would like to thank the police for taking this serious and for investigating this thoroughly.
‘We have beautiful relationships with the local community and we’ve never had any trouble at all at our mosque. We are not too worried about this and we have every confidence in the police.’
While this is believed to be an isolated incident, local officers have increased patrols in the area and around all places of worship – regardless of faith or belief – to reassure people who may be worried.
Walsall Council opened up their town hall as a shelter for residents affected by the incident. Their evacuation was temporary and purely precautionary.
Anyone concerned by the events or with information which may aid the investigation should call police on 101. Those who do not want to speak with police officers directly should call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
To report hate crimes, visit: www.report-it.org.uk
From Walsall Council:
Appeal for information after Caldmore incident
Last updated: 23/06/2013 15:04:10
Walsall Council is supporting a West Midlands Police investigation into an incident at a mosque in Rutter Street, Caldmore.
West Midlands Police were contacted at around 10.45pm on Saturday June 22.
Residents from nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution with 76 accommodated at the Council House from 5am.
Superintendent Keith Fraser said all lines of enquiry are being investigated and the incident is being classed as a ‘hate crime.’
Anyone who has any information is asked to call 101.
Councillor Zahid Ali, Walsall Council portfolio holder for public health and protection, said: ‘The council and other partners will assist the police wherever possible and will continue to support the community while this investigation is carried out.’