Terror raids ‘lessons’ warning

Cheetham Hill raidThe Muslim community’s confidence in the police is heading for crisis point following the release without charge of 12 men arrested in anti-terror raids, says one of Manchester’s leading politicians.

Coun Afzal Khan, a former Lord Mayor, said confidence could be lost because “too many times the police are getting it wrong.”

Eleven of the 12 men, who are Pakistani nationals in Britain on visas, face deportation after being handed over to the UK Borders Agency. The twelfth is a British citizen from Cheetham Hill.

Coun Khan – a councillor for Cheetham where four of the raids took place – said: “The Muslim community has always been supportive but we need to make sure that support is not lost. We are reaching a point where there is a danger of that.

“I am not saying the police should not act. I fully support the police and want them to protect us. My concern is that too many times they are getting it wrong. That is affecting the confidence in the relationship between the police and the public – particularly the Muslim community.

“It is having an adverse effect on internal community relations. An independent inquiry must look at the way the police are working and dealing with terrorism. If there are lessons to be learned, they need to be learned quickly.”

Manchester Evening News, 23 April 2009