West Midlands Police have launched an investigation after five mosques in Birmingham had their windows smashed overnight.
Police were called at 2.32am today (21/03) 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 attack had happened sometime earlier.
At 3.14am, police were alerted to a similar attack 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. Damage to a fifth mosque was confirmed by police but the location has not yet been confirmed.
This is the clean up after the attack on Witton Road Islamic Centre in Brum this morning
I have reports of a no of Islamic Centres & a Muslim girls school attacked overnight!
— Cllr Majid Mahmood 🌹 (@CllrMajid) March 21, 2019
Forensic officers are working to identify evidence, and CCTV is being examined.
Neighbourhood officers are working closely with mosques around the West Midlands today.
The motive behind the attacks, which are being treated as linked, 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.”
Anyone with information has been asked to contact police via Live Chat on the West Midlands Police website between 8am and midnight, via 101 any time, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.