Yesterday’s major anti-terrorism operation has once again raised concerns within Britain’s Muslim community that its members are being unfairly singled out for police attention
Senior officers at West Midlands Police were at pains to ensure yesterday’s operations did not damage relations with Birmingham’s sizeable Muslim community.
Assistant Chief Constable David Shaw said his officers had taken a hands-on approach in dealing with community concerns. He said: "We have not waited for our communities to come and speak to us – we have actively sought them out.
"It is critical we involve them in what is going on, and they understand the reasons for what we are doing and are able to come forward to express their concerns to us."
He stressed that the feedback from the communities so far had been "positive throughout", and said this was thanks to the "exceptionally good relationships" West Midlands Police enjoys with the people it polices.
He singled out the Muslim community for particular praise, saying: "We know, and are very grateful for, the steps taken by Muslim communities to isolate extremists and reassure all communities of their commitment to integration.
"Following previous terrorism arrests in Birmingham an alliance of Islamic organisations released a position statement, through Birmingham Central Mosque, condemning people who commit criminal offences in the name of Islam.
"This morning, an Islamic centre in the vicinity of one of the addresses offered their rest facilities for our officers. It is a small example but one of how people are willing to support our officers."