Mirror UK reports that the UK government will release £2.4m funding to beef up security in mosques, churches and other religious buildings following the killing of a priest in France and a new report on a surge in reported hate crime.
The Hate Crime Action Plan said reports of religious hate crime in 2014/15 has spiked 43% or 3,254 from 2,269 in 2013. There are reports of racist, homophobic and anti-transgender hate crime. A woman who wears a veil disclosed, “We’re not just being targeted verbally and being given the cold shoulder, dirty looks and fingers.”
The security budget will fund fences, doors, bollards, locks, alarms, floodlights and CCTV, but not security guards. Churches and other places of worship have until September 20, 2016 to bid for a share in the funding. Exempted to bid are Jewish institutions since they are already receiving separate funding through the Community Security Trust.
“As we have seen, Daesh and other terrorist groups have targeted Christian as well as Jewish and other faith groups in the west and beyond,” said Neil Basu, the Metropolitan police’s deputy assistant commissioner.
“Following recent events in France, we are reiterating our protective security advice to Christian places of worship and have circulated specific advice today. We are also taking this opportunity to remind them to review their security arrangements as a precaution,” Basu added.
Police chiefs advised churchgoers to be alert and vigilant at all times even if there are no specific threats to the UK’s Christian community.
Dan bloom. (2016). Mirror. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/24m-security-fund-mosques-churches-8495757
The Guardian. (2016). theguardian.com. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/27/uk-churches-urged-review-security-normandy-attack
Christiantodaycom. (2016). Christiantodaycom. http://www.christiantoday.com/article/churches.given.2.4m.security.fund.to.protect.from.hate.crimes/91534.htm