To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effect of his Department's funding of the protection of places of worship.
15 May 2019
The Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme has been in place since 2016. Over the first three years, in total the scheme has approved grants worth approximately £1.5 million with 63 to churches, 49 to mosques, 5 to Hindu temples and 17 to Gurdwaras.
We continuously listen to feedback to make the scheme as effective as possible, and places of worship which successfully bid for funding have described feeling an increased sense of safety. As part of our ongoing assessment of the success of the scheme, we monitor the scheme’s application rates and other related management information, seek regular feedback from faith communities and security experts, and undertake site visits at places of worship which have received funding. We have also heard that some places of worship found it cumbersome to gather multiple quotes for all measures, which is why we have removed the requirement under the 2019-20 scheme.
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. This upcoming consultation will also be an opportunity to assess the impact of the Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme further and to identify any potential improvements, which will make the scheme even more effective.