POLICE officers will be on patrol near mosques in the wake of yesterday’s terrorist attack.

Sussex Police said the decision had been made to reassure the public after a van struck a group of muslim worshippers in the early hours of the morning just yards from Finsbury Park mosque in London.

Deputy Chief Constable Bernie O’Reilly said the force’s security procedures were being reviewed as The Muslim Council of Britain called for extra security around mosques.

Extra patrols are expected to be sent particularly to police priority areas in Brighton, including near the Al Madina Mosque in Bedford Place, Al-Quds Mosque in Dyke Road, and Shahjalal Masjid in Portland Road, Hove, as well as mosques in Broadwood Rise and London Road, Crawley. There are at least 15 other mosques in towns across the county.

Mr O’Reilly said: “It is natural that there will be heightened concerns at mosques and in surrounding communities. As we approach the end of the month of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid with many muslims going to mosques, we are liaising with muslim groups and mosques to talk through any concerns and will be targeting patrols to help reassure communities.”

The news comes as it emerged the force has seen a 20 per cent increase in reports of hate crime in Sussex last month in comparison to the same time last year.

Chief Constable Giles York revealed the figures at a meeting on Friday. He said it was a relatively small rise in terms of numbers of reports and it was hard to tell if it was linked to the latest terror attacks. It is a smaller increase than that seen after the EU referendum.

During the performance and accountability meeting with police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne it also emerged just under a third of candidates training to become new armed police officers in Sussex failed the course. So far 48 have embarked on the training programme and 33 were successful, Mr York said. Over three courses conducted in October, January and May, 16 took part each time and a total of 15 failed.

Mr York said: “You can’t just unpack a box with police officers. There is a two-year programme. I want to reassure the public quite a lot of people fail the course. It is incredibly challenging.”

Ms Bourne increased the cost of the police precept in council tax payments this year to fund 52 extra armed officers and five vans. The resources will be shared across Sussex and Surrey.

Last week campaigners claimed police cuts were putting the county at a greater risk of a terrorist attack but the force insisted this was not the case. People can report suspicious activity on 0800 789321.