Police patrols around mosques in Cumbria are being stepped up after the horrific mass shootings in New Zealand.

As the death toll from the two terror attacks on worshippers in Christchurch rose to 49, Cumbria Police moved to reassure the county's growing Islamic community.

The massacre - broadcast live on the internet by one of the gunmen - has sent shockwaves around the world.

A Cumbria Police spokesperson said: "Cumbria Constabulary would like to offer our condolences to all those affected by the incident in New Zealand.

“Whilst there is currently no such perceived threat to our Cumbrian community, our officers are working with partners and stakeholders to offer reassurance.

"Increased patrol activity is being undertaken over the forthcoming days around mosques, and we will be increasing engagement with communities of all faiths to provide personal safety advice.

"The actions of Cumbria Constabulary are in line with the activity of forces across the country and national messaging.

“Places of worship can also utilise the NPCC’s online training package ‘ACT Awareness eLearning’ for advice on Protective Security and how to react should a terrorist incident happen. It can be found at http://bit.ly/2O5zggg

"We’d also encourage the public to always remain vigilant, if you see or hear anything suspicious report to us immediately. We would also advise individual to be aware of the national Run, Hide, Tell advice which can be found at http://bit.ly/2Hwbvg9

Carlisle City Council's Currock coucillor Abdul Harid welcomed the police reassurance.

Commenting on the attack itself, Mr Harid said: "You just don't expect this kind of thing in a place like New Zealand.

"But I suppose it could happen anywhere - in any town, in any city in the UK.

"Anywhere in the world.

"We have a growing Islamic community in Carlisle and Carlisle is a welcoming city."

Mr Harid said such cruel violence has no place in any society.

"Such criminals have no place in our communities, whether they're right-wing, Islamic, or whatever," he said.

"No faith encourages hate.

"The Koran says love your neighbours; help your neighbours. The Prophet Mhammad helped the poor; he fed his neighbours before he fed himself.

"Carlisle celebrates its multiculturalism; and Carlisle City Council welcomes people from different backgrounds."

The man thought to be the leader of the Christchurch terror group identified himself as 28-year-old Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, who filmed the sickening attack on social media.

Dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle, he started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque shortly after 1.40pm New Zealand time.

Gunmen then opened fire at a second mosque in the suburb of Linwood.

Tarrant is said to have posted a 74-page manifesto online in which he claimed to be from a “working class, low income family”.

He said he was of Scottish, Irish and English heritage, and moved to New Zealand temporarily to plan and train and then stayed there after deciding to carry out the attack.