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13 April 2015, 17:55
Pigs heads have been dumped outside an old ambulance station days after claims it was being used as a mosque.
West Midlands Police said a plastic bag containing four of the animals' heads had been left on the doorstep of what is now a community centre in Solihull near Birmingham last night, with officers branding it a hate crime.
Detectives said CCTV near the scene showed a man leaving the grisly package before driving off in a light-coloured saloon car.
Some of the building's windows had also been damaged in a separate incident the night before, according to police.
Last week, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council was reported to be looking into allegations of a breach of planning rules following claims the centre was being used as a mosque without local authority consent.
The council's inquiry was launched as an online petition - which has now attracted more than 3,000 signatures, protested the fact residents had not been consulted about the building becoming "a mosque''.
The petition, on the change.org website, stated that "Solihull's residents have not been consulted or informed of plans to turn the old ambulance station in to a masjid, otherwise known as a mosque,'' calling it unacceptable.
In April last year, planning chiefs gave consent for the former ambulance station in Hermitage Road to be turned into a conference and training centre.
The application made no mention of any other potential uses.
Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent Alex Murray, of West Midlands Police, said the people who dumped the pigs heads should come forward "before we come and knock on their door''.
"We've secured good quality CCTV of the culprits and my detectives are making good progress with the investigation,'' he said.
"The forensic evidence we have is also very strong and we expect a result from that in the coming days.''
Separately, the English Defence League has announced plans to protest in Solihull on Saturday to demonstrate against unrelated plans for a Muslim cemetery in the nearby village of Catherine-de-Barnes.