Detectives are investigating a number of racist threats received by post offices in East Lancashire.

Letters demanding the Asian community "go back to your land immediately, fast with urgency or else" were sent to post offices in Padiham, Burnley and Pendle on Wednesday.

Specialist officers have reviewed the letters and are speaking directly with the those affected, but believe there is no direct threat to individuals or the wider community.

Police are aware of at least five letters across the east of the county, which are being linked to similar incidents in 2019.

DI Andy Horne from Blackburn Police said: “We understand that this may cause concern and we want to assure people that we are working closely with the post offices involved to ensure the safety of staff and customers.

“We are carrying out extensive enquiries to understand the full circumstances and although there is not currently believed to be any direct threat, as with any report of this nature, they are all being thoroughly investigated.

“We are looking at the possibility that the five letters reported to us yesterday are linked to a number of others that were received by post offices across the county in December last year. We are still investigating those incidents.

"We want to reassure people that we know how concerning these letters are but we are determined to find who is responsible for sending them.”

He added: “We know that images of the letters are being shared and discussed on social media but we would ask that people refrain from doing this, as it may be giving the sender the attention they crave and a platform to spread their offensive messages.

The Mayor of Burnley, Councillor Wajid Khan, has labelled it a "sickening situation" and called for the stamping out of racism in the borough.

He said: "This is a sickening situation and I can't imagine the impact it's having on those who have received this racist hate mail.

"Everyone in our borough should be appalled by this. We must continue to work together, no matter what our background, to stamp this kind of insanity out and state firmly that we believe that people of all colours, background and faith have equal rights to live their lives without having to face death threats just because of the colour of their skin."

Police are urging anybody with information about the letters to email or call 101 quoting incident reference LC-20200624-0489.