'Vulnerable' places of worship urged to apply to £3.2m security fund

(Photo: Pexels/Brett Sayles)

The Government is encouraging "vulnerable" places of worship to apply to a £3.2m fund set up to help protect them from hate crime attacks.

The Places of Worship Protective Security Fund is now in its fifth year and is available for churches, mosques, gurdwaras and temples that are at risk from hate crime attacks. 

The scheme, first introduced in 2016, offers grants to places of worship to help them cover the cost of introducing security measures around their premises, like security gates, alarms and CCTV.

Since the launch of the scheme, over 180 grants have been awarded to 76 churches, 75 mosques, 23 gurdwaras and nine Hindu temples.

Places of worship have until 9 August to submit an application.  They are also being encouraged to respond to the Home Office's consultation on protecting places of worship, which closes on 28 June.

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."