A new grant scheme from the Home Office has been launched for places of worship to help them install additional security measures.
The Home Office has established the Places of Worship Security Funding Scheme to tackle the rising number of hate crimes against religious buildings.
£2.4 million of funding has been made available to achieve the following aims:
• Provide security hardening measures for places of worship that have been subject to – or are deemed to be vulnerable to – criminal damage and extreme physical attacks.
• Identify places of worship at greatest risk of criminal damage and that would potentially benefit from the implementation of security hardening measures.
• Provide a level of reassurance to places of worship.
• Mitigate the impact of hate crime offences including but not limited to:
o criminal damage (vandalism, graffiti, arson); and
o public order (inside the property).
All places of worship in England and Wales are eligible to submit a bid except for Synagogues and the Jewish Community as a similar commitment was made to fund Jewish community sites through a grant administered by the Community Security Trust.
Applicants will need to provide 20% of the total project cost themselves. No minimum of maximum amount of grant has been specified. Initially applicants will also need to have sufficient funds to pay for the full cost of the security equipment to be installed, before reclaiming 80% back from the Home Office upon completion.
Examples of what can be funded include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Perimeter fencing.
• Access control gates.
• Door locks.
• Window locks.
• Intruder alarm.
• External lighting.
• Security doors.
Funding is also available to pay the appropriate labour cost to install the security equipment.
Police reports, records of incidents, photographic evidence and/or insurance claims must be provided as part of the application process to demonstrate that the applicant’s building needs increased security. A site survey will also need to be arranged with the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) or a local Crime Prevention Design Adviser (CPDA) prior to applying.
The deadline for the First Round of this fund is 20 September 2016 (5pm).
The Home Office expects there to be a second round in the spring of 2017.