POLICE forces across the country are reviewing how they protect their officers and the Jewish community in the wake of the Parisian terror attacks, Britain’s chief counter-terror police officer said.
Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the national policing lead for counter-terrorism, said the attack on a kosher supermarket in the French capital and anti-semitic rhetoric from extremists has led to a “heightened concern” about the risk to the UK’s Jewish population. The “deliberate targeting” of police in recent terrorist attacks has also raised fears about the dangers faced by frontline staff, he said.
Speaking on a visit to the US, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We have to be incredibly vigilant and look at all of these risks, particularly risks to police officers themselves and take every action that we can.”
His comments came as queues formed across the country to buy copies of the first Charlie Hebdo magazine published since gunmen killed 12 people at its offices on Wednesday last week.
But many were left disappointed as high demand soon outstripped the supply of around 1,000 copies of the issue, which carries a front-cover cartoon of a crying Prophet Mohammed.
In Scunthorpe, around 40 people who queued at the Celebrations shop were left empty handed after 140 copies ordered by owner Matthew Stephenson failed to appear.
He said: “We don’t usually stock magazines but I felt this was something I had to do. Luckily everybody who queued was very understanding, but I was gutted, angry.”
Distributor Menzies, which supplies 27,000 businesses, said it was given just 100 copies to distribute across the UK, and after a “difficult allocation process” all e were sent to London retailers.
Interest in the new edition prompted more than 50 British Muslim leaders to appeal for calm from the Islamic community in response to the front-cover cartoon.
Senior Muslim, Jewish and Christian figures also held an “interfaith unity gathering” in central London in response to the shootings.
Dr Shuja Shafi, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said “nothing offends us more than the insult, hurt and dishonour this attack has brought on our community and faith”.