‘Overcome with sadness’ ... Luton responds to Paris attacks


As the world reels from the shock of the attacks in Paris yesterday that left at least 128 people dead, community leaders in Luton have responded to the tragedy.

Cllr Hazel Simmons, leader of Luton Borough Council, said: “I’ve been overcome with sadness watching these terrible events unfold. My thoughts and prayers go out the innocent victims of these senseless, heinous and unfathomable crimes. It’s too hard to comprehend that people who were simply enjoying a night out with friends and family could be targeted in this way.

“On behalf of all Lutonians I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the people of Paris and everyone affected by what has happened, particularly those who have lost friends, colleagues and loved ones. I hope those responsible can be brought to justice for their crimes.”

Rehana Faisal, representing both the Sunni and Luton Council of Mosques, said: “The Muslim Community of Luton are deeply saddened and appalled by the horrific attacks which took place in Paris yesterday. The level of barbarism and violence shown by the perpetrators is truly horrendous. We recognise the immeasurable pain and suffering that the families and friends of the victims will be feeling, and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

“This was an indiscriminate attack on the whole of humanity and has touched the lives of us all, regardless of nationality, faith or background. Such attacks are designed to polarise communities and turn neighbour against neighbour. We are committed in ensuring that they do not achieve their objective.”

Zafar Khan, Chair of Luton Council of Faiths, added: “An attack on one is an attack on all. In the face of such adversities, we will work even harder for peace and harmony in our world.”

Jon Boutcher, chief constable of Bedfordshire Police said: “Our thoughts are with the families of those killed and injured in the barbaric attacks.

“The terrible events in Paris are another stark reminder of the very real threat that terrorist organisations pose to us all.

“We work extremely hard with partners across Bedfordshire and in particular Luton Borough Council and the communities within the town to tackle extremism and radicalisation to ensure such ideology does not prosper.

“I want to personally thank our exceptional communities for everything they do to make Luton a vibrant and positive place to live and work. I am determined to get the level of community policing that other forces have to support that work.”