“DISTURBING reports” about far-right group Britain First targeting Rotherham mosques have prompted the council and police to take action.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said there had been “disturbing reports of Britain First targeting Rotherham wanting people to 'out' grooming gangs”.
She added: “This is deliberate intimidation and doesn’t help victims."
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “We are working with Rotherham Council and the local community following reports a group was seen handing out leaflets at two mosques in the town yesterday (Thursday).
“We have implemented additional police patrols as we work with the community and provide reassurance.
“Enquiries are ongoing.”
Ms Champion thanked South Yorkshire Police for maintaining order, adding: “The irony is, because you have to police these idiots you're not able to catch abusers.”
She said the activists’ intentions were “to intimidate residents and divide our communities," adding: "I want to send a message today — the far right is not welcome in our town
“When Rotherham has been targeted by the far-right before, I have always been proud to see our communities come together to send that message loud and clear.
“Nevertheless, I know the presence of such hateful groups will be worrying, particularly for BME communities.
"I therefore wanted to provide reassurance that the police are aware of, and actively monitoring, this activity and were quickly on the streets reassuring people last night.
“I have spoken with senior police officers in Rotherham and they will be working closely with RMBC and with local mosques. Extra patrols will also be mounted to ensure all Rotherham’s residents can go about their lives in security and free from harassment.
“Should you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to report them to the police on 101, or, in an emergency, on 999.
“We will not be divided by those that seek to spread division. I stand shoulder to shoulder with all Rotherham’s diverse communities in the face of hatred and bigotry.”
Rotherham Council has been contacted for a comment.
We want to continue holding local authorities to account, attending court and council meetings, as well as providing breaking news, competitions and offers – but it costs money. Online advertising does not cover costs, therefore we feel the need to ask for your help in ensuring we can provide the best possible coverage, online and in our printed products.
For as little as £1, you can support the Rotherham Advertiser – and it only takes a minute.
Click here to support local news.