POLICE have promised to step up patrols at mosques in Scotland following a terrorist attack in New Zealand. 

The move comes amid fears mosques in East Renfrewshire could be targeted in copycat attacks. 

Forty-nine people were shot dead and 48 injured in attacks targeting Muslims at two mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch, in the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history.

The worst of the shootings occurred at Al Noor mosque, while ten of the victims were killed at the Linwood Islamic Centre, four miles (6km) away, in a Christchurch suburb. 

Police Scotland have revealed they have no reason to believe there are any specific threats to mosques in Scotland but have promised to up patrols as a precaution. 

DCC Will Kerr from Police Scotland said: “We are monitoring events in New Zealand closely and send out condolences to all those affected.

“There is no intelligence to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland.

“Today we will be stepping up reassurance patrols around mosques and increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves.

“As ever, we would urge the public to get in touch to report anything suspicious by calling the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency by calling 999.”

East Renfrewshire’s Provost, Jim Fletcher, is to write to the Mayor of Christchurch to express his condolences on behalf of the area.

He said: “The events which have taken place in New Zealand are absolutely tragic. People visit places of worship as a place to feel safe, so the specific events of this incident which has claimed the lives of so many is particularly shocking.

“I will be writing to the Mayor of Christchurch to express my condolences on behalf of East Renfrewshire, as there must be solidarity shown right across the world as we aim to eradicate these horrific acts.”