Christchurch shooting: Agencies accused of ignoring years of warnings the Muslim community was in danger

Public service agencies are being accused of ignoring years of warnings that the Muslim community was in danger before the horrific terror attacks in Christchurch.

The Islamic Women's Council has released its submission to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the mosque attacks.

Fifty-one people died in the March 15 shootings last year, when Australian Brenton Tarrant opened fire at Christchurch's Al Noor and Linwood mosques.

In its submission, the council says the shooting may not have happened if it wasn't for major failings by a forewarned public service.

The council says islamophobia and alt-right activity began rising in 2017 but persistent requests for help were not acted on. 

Islamic Women's Council representative Frances Joychild QC says she looked over thousands of documents relating to their grave concerns.

"I just felt absolutely sickened because they were faced again and again with a public service that was inept and ineffective and, at best, disinterested."

Joychild QC said efforts to get attention were extensive and spanned years.

"It's likely that but for all those failures - and particularly of the security service and the police - the events of March 15 might not have happened."

In its submission, the council has called for gun licence applicants to be screened for hate crimes and membership of supremacist groups.

Islamic Women's Council national coordinator Anjum Rahman.
Islamic Women's Council national coordinator Anjum Rahman. Photo credit: File

It makes a raft of recommendations, including that gun licences also be reviewed every two years against hate speech and hate crime records.

"There was a lack of support on the preventative side," the submission says. "The Government had failed and was failing the Muslim community. 

"It is certain that but for the failures of the other public sector agencies there would have been greater support and protection of the Muslim community before 2019 as the pressure on them grew and after, when the trauma and shock had to be dealt with."

A police spokesperson told Newshub given the Royal Commission has not concluded, it would be inappropriate to comment on submissions.

Tarrant is due to be sentenced in the Christchurch High Court next month. He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges but changed his pleas to guilty in March this year.