Places of Worship fund doubled to £1.6m
Funding for next year’s places of worship protective security has been doubled to £1.6 million in a bid to reassure communities and safeguard mosques and other places of worship.
In addition, a new £5 million fund, spread over three years, will be opened to provide security training. A competitive process to determine providers of the training is to be undertaken, with the plan to start delivering in 2019 to 2020.
The funding increase comes after the terror attack in Christchurch claimed the lives of 50 people and injured 40 more. Following the incident, police presence was stepped up at mosques across the UK to reassure communities fearful of similar attacks.
The places of worship fund was established in 2016 as part of the government’s hate crime action plan. It provides financial support for physical protective security such as fencing, lighting and CCTV.
So far, more than a third of grants under the places of Worship Protective Funding scheme have been awarded to mosques.
The government has also said it will open a consultation with faith representatives and organisations including the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, Tell MAMA, the Independent Advisory Group and other faith representatives on improvements to existing policy.
The bidding process will also be simplified so organisations no longer have to prove they have previously experienced a hate crime incident directly. In addition the government will be streamlining the supplier arrangements for bidders, after which the programme will open for applications.