The Places of Worship Protective Security Scheme, now in its 5th year, allows places of worship such as churches, mosques, gurdwaras, temples and associated faith community centres to receive government funding to improve physical security. This can include more secure gates, locks, alarms and CCTV in order to deter and prevent hate crime attacks.
The scheme, first introduced in 2016, was simplified and expanded following the Christchurch terror attack in 2019, and the amount of funding available has doubled to £3.2 million from last year.
Since its introduction more than 180 grants have been awarded helping 76 churches,75 mosques, 23 gurdwaras and nine Hindu temples.
Minister for Countering Extremism, Baroness Williams said:
During this global pandemic, personal faith has been a source of comfort and strength for many.
I would urge all places of worship who feel they are vulnerable to hate crime to apply for the fund, and as a government we will do all we can to make your congregations feel safe and protected.
Groups have until 9 August to make an application. Places of worship across England have been permitted to reopen for individual prayer from 13 June following discussions between the government and representatives of major faiths through the Places of Worship Taskforce, chaired by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.
In addition to the Places of Worship Scheme, the Home Office opened a consultation on 15 March to review what else can be done to protect faith institutions, while ensuring a balance is struck between worshipping openly without fear and providing adequate security measures to protect worshippers. The consultation closes on 28 June, and its findings will be published in due course.