Great Britain

Police interview students who 'desecrated copies of Quran' at school

The pupils have been suspended from Fulwood Academy in Preston, Lancashire, until the investigation into their behaviour concludes. Dave Lancaster, the principal, "immediately" notified police and Prevent, a Government anti-terrorism agency.  Police have called the probe a "critical incident" because it has a huge effect on the community in Preston.

In a joint letter to parents and carers Principal Dave Lancaster and Joan Dean, Chair of Governors, said it is "not our intention to hide or shy away from these acts and we can reassure everyone that we will work together to further strengthen our community and build on our deep commitment to inclusion, diversity and equality".

Fulwood Academy was rated as Inadquate by Ofsted after its last full visit in February 2019.

It caters for more than 780 children aged 11 to 16.

It is alleged the students twice desecrated the Quran, the religious text of Islam, last week.

 "We are aware of speculation on social media relating to incidents at a school in Black Bull Lane, Fulwood, so we just wanted to give you the latest information," a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.

"We received a report of a hate crime on Thursday (June 10). Police attended the school on Friday morning and while there we received further information about a second reported hate crime.

"As a result, two students attended Preston Police Station on Saturday morning and were interviewed by officers.

"Our enquiries are very much ongoing and we are working closely with the school to address these matters. We are aware of the impact this incident has had within the community and for that reason we are treating it as a Critical Incident. Everyone in our county should be allowed to live their lives free from harassment and the fear of hate crime.

"Hate crime causes great distress to its victims and we are committed to investigating all crimes and incidents motivated by hate, supporting victims and bringing offenders to justice."

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