A man was arrested on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offence after a pig’s head was left outside a proposed Islamic Centre in Chester.

The anti-Muslim incident took place on October 22 after a member of the pubic contacted the police to report suspicious behaviour outside the property. A swift police response lead to the arrest of a 41-year-old male in the early hours of today (October 23).

In early September, the Islamic Centre was approved by councillors. But some residents could not hide their disgust that an old church and abandoned Unemployment and Culture Centre will be replaced with a building that will “devalue the whole area”.

In spite of the approval, the Islamic Centre will take two years to build, but two racist attacks in three months hint a deeper malaise in the area. In August, a racist drunk decorated children’s bunting with swastikas and KKK symbols and hung it outside the proposed site.

Giles Orton, Chief Inspector, told the Chester Chronicle: “Local residents can be reassured that the police have a high visibility presence in the area.

“Through firm policing we will put an end to racially aggravated incidents in Ellesmere Port.

“Hate crimes are not tolerated within this community.”

Police and community leaders were unable to comment on the racist Facebook page ‘Ban Ellesmere Port mosque’ – a page with almost 600 ‘likes’ that wants to “stop Muslims taking over Ellesmere Port and keeping Britain British” – due to ongoing enquiries. Nor could they confirm if the pig’s head attack is linked to the page.

The page contains the usual anti-Muslim memes – a fixation with pork, banning Islam and a deeply unpleasant ‘joke’ that depicts arson – the caption reads “I threw my new Muslim neighbours a house-warming party The police called it arson…whatever”.

In late September, a 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of posting racist comments relating to the proposed Islamic Centre. But the individual was released without charge.

At an online and offline level, the rise in anti-Muslim incidents in the area of Ellesmere Port is alarming.

Anyone who may have seen anything suspicious is asked to contact Cheshire police on 101.

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