Funds topped up to protect UK places of worship

24th Apr 2020

Hamed Chapman

Security Minister at the Home Office, James Brokenshire, announced a doubling of amount of awards to protect non-Jewish places of worship to £3.2 million in 2020-21 as well as a renewal of a new £5 million fund to provide security training.

“Counter Terrorism Policing routinely reviews the threat to all our communities in light of events in the UK and elsewhere, assessing all relevant intelligence reporting,” Brokenshire told Parliament this month.

“In light of this, appropriate action is taken to ensure the safety of all faith communities,” he said in response to a question from Labour MP Zarah Sultana, who asked what assessment had been made of the effect on the risk of terrorist attacks on UK mosques following recent arrests for terrorism offences and events in Hanau in Germany.

The Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme was established backing in 2016 as part of the Government’s hate crime action plan, provides financial support for physical protective security such as fencing, lighting and CCTV.

It previously committed funding of £2.4 million over 3 years but was boasted in to £1.6 million following two consecutive terrorist attacks at mosques in New Zealand, during Friday Prayers that massacred 50 people and injured 40 more.

In a written parliamentary reply this month, Minister of State for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service, Kit Malthouse revealed that over the first three years of the Places of Worship scheme a total of 431 applications were received but only 134 were successful.
“In England, there have been 253 applications from Christian communities, 108 from Muslim communities, 19 from Hindu communities, 34 from Sikh communities and 1 from Jain communities.”

Of those applications, there have been 193 unsuccessful applications from Christian communities, 60 from Muslim communities, 14 from Hindu communities, 17 from Sikh communities, and 1 from Jain communities.” In addition in Wales, there have been 14 applications from Christian communities, and none from Sikh and Jain communities.

Separately a much larger financial package has been provided to the Jewish community since 2015 administered by the Community Security Trust, that was set up back in 1994 to ensure the security of the British Jewish community. It works in close collaboration with local police forces in Jewish areas and produces reports and monitoring of antisemitism across the country.

On April 1, the Jewish Chronicle reported that amount awarded to the CST had gone up to £14 million. It quoted Home Secretary, Priti Patel, saying, “This funding will help Jewish people practice their religion and way of life without fear of attack or persecution.”

For further information visit:

Places of Worship (POW): protective security funding scheme

Protection of places of worship, not a level playing field

 

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