Four people in the UK have been arrested in three separate incidents after referencing the Christchurch terror attack as part of racial abuse.

Fifty people were killed and 34 injured in the mosque shootings in Christchurch on Friday.

Two people, who were customers, have been arrested in Manchester after allegedly abusing and threatening a taxi driver, by referencing the New Zealand mosque attacks.

A man, aged 33, and a woman, 34, were held on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences in Rochdale.

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Another woman has also been arrested in the same town on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence "following comments made online about the New Zealand attack".

Separately, a 24-year-old from Oldham was arrested over a Facebook post which police said expressed "support" for the white supremacist terror attack.

He has been held on suspicion of sending malicious communications, but has been bailed pending further inquiries.

Police Specialist Search Group sweep Deans Avenue, Christchurch. Photo / Michael Craig
Police Specialist Search Group sweep Deans Avenue, Christchurch. Photo / Michael Craig

"The events which happened two days ago in New Zealand continue to cause huge upset with people of all faiths from across Greater Manchester," Assistant Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police, Russ Jackson said.

"It is absolutely clear that compassion and support is how the overwhelming majority of people feel and, as always, Greater Manchester stands together.

"Over the weekend we have had, however, a small number of incidents where people have either posted or made remarks referencing the horrible events in New Zealand, particularly online where people often think it is acceptable to abuse others.

"Some of these comments are frankly disgusting. I am amazed how some people think it is acceptable to make such careless and disrespectful remarks.

"People are entitled to free speech and this is always respected, however, where this crosses the boundary into criminal offences, let me be really clear, we will make arrests and if the evidence is there we will seek the prosecution of those involved."

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