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Religious Buildings: Security

Question for Home Office

UIN 248748, tabled on 29 April 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the recent shooting at the San Diego synagogue, what urgent steps he is taking to provide additional funding for security at places of worship.

Answered on

8 May 2019

The police are aware of events taking place around the world such as San Diego, Sri Lanka and Christchurch and adapt their operational policing plans, including increased high visibility patrolling, to protect and reassure all our faith communities.

On 19 March, the Home Secretary announced a boost in funding for the hate crime Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme to £1.6 million for 2019/20 (excluding synagogues). This is double the amount awarded in 2018/19. Furthermore, £5 million over three years has also been committed to providing security training to places of worship in England and Wales. This will enable staff and volunteers to develop the security understanding necessary to make security measures work more effectively.

On 27 February, the Home Secretary announced increased funding for the Jewish Community Protective Security Grant to £14 million for 2019/20. Although this fund is focussed primarily on security at Jewish Schools a proportion of funding is allocated to the security of synagogues. This Grant was introduced in 2015 following a number of terrorist attacks on Jews and Jewish sites in Europe.

More widely, the Home Secretary has committed to consulting with faith communities to understand what more could and should be done to help protect faith communities at their places of worship.

Answered by

Home Office