Police investigation launched after footage of 'Muslim patrols' in Tower Hamlets emerges online
PUBLISHED: 17:54 18 January 2013 | UPDATED: 15:44 21 January 2013
Police have launched an investigation after footage showing self-styled vigilante Muslims patrolling the streets of Whitechapel emerged online.
The video shows a self-styled ‘Muslim patrol’ approaching people in Fieldgate Street, close to the East London Mosque.
Members of the patrol announce themselves to passers-by as “vigilantes implementing Islam against your own necks”.
“We are Muslims who patrol the area, forbidding evil”, they can be heard saying.
One passer-by is told to “remove yourself away from the Mosque”.
They tell others: “Go away now. Don’t come back. Keep your mouths closed.”
Responding to a woman who condemns their actions, the vigilantes can be heard saying: “We don’t care if you’re appalled at all. It’s not so Great Britain.”
The footage is thought to have been taken late on Saturday night, and shows the Muslims pouring alcoholic drinks down drains.
A police spokesman confirmed an investigation was being launched after several complaints were received, but no arrests have yet been made.
“Patrols in the areas affected have also been increased in an effort to catch those carrying this out and to reassure the local community”, he added.
“We have also been speaking to local community leaders and influential people, local businesses and the local authority about the issue and what is being done, and can be done, to address it.”
The East London Mosque was quick to distance itself from the actions of the ‘patrol’.
A statement read: “These actions are utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord. We wholly condemn them.
“The East London Mosque is committed to building co-operation and harmony between all communities in this borough. The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith nor on our streets.
“We will monitor the situation closely and our Imams will be speaking out against such actions.”
Police are appealing for anyone with further information to contact them on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.