Two men in custody following reports of Greater Manchester taxi driver abused by passengers referenc

Police currently have two people in custody in relation to offences relating to comments made about the New Zealand terrorist attacks. Shortly before 12.20am this morning (Sunday 17 March 2019) officers were called to Queensway, Rochdale, to a report of a taxi driver being abused and threatened by members of the public who were referencing the terrorist attacks in New Zealand.

Officers quickly attended and two people, a man aged 33 and a woman aged 34, were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences.

They will be interviewed by detectives later today. She remains in custody for questioning. Separately, the 24-year-old man from the Oldham area arrested yesterday for malicious communications referencing the New Zealand attacks has been bailed pending further enquiries. Assistant Chief Constable of GMP, Russ Jackson, said: “The events which happened two days ago in New Zealand continue to cause huge upset with people of all faiths from across Greater Manchester. “It is absolutely clear that compassion and support is how the overwhelming majority of people feel and, as always, Greater Manchester stands together. “Over the weekend we have had, however, a small number of incidents where people have either posted or made remarks referencing the horrible events in New Zealand, particularly online where people often think it is acceptable to abuse others. “Some of these comments are frankly disgusting. I am amazed how some people think it is acceptable to make such careless and disrespectful remarks. “People are entitled to free speech and this is always respected, however, where this crosses the boundary into criminal offences, let me be really clear, we will make arrests and if the evidence is there we will seek the prosecution of those involved.” 

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