Places of worship boosted by Home Office fund

Churches and other places of worship which have been attacked, or are likely to be targeted, will receive additional funding from the Home Office.

The Places of Worship Security Funding (PWSF) scheme provides grants to churches, mosques, temples and gurdwaras to install security measures to deter attackers.

This includes alarm systems, security lighting, and CCTV cameras. The fund has helped 89 places of worship since its inception in 2016.

‘Vital principle’

The PWSF has been given an additional £1million, taking available funding up to £2.4million. Applicants are able to receive up to £56,000.

Funding has usually been granted to places of worship which are at risk or are victims of vandalism, such as graffiti and the defacing of religious symbols, or attacks on worshippers.

Minister for Countering Extremism Baroness Williams said: “Communities being able to worship their religion free from intimidation, violence or abusive behaviour is a vital principle at the heart of the values we share in this country.

“This scheme has already helped many places of worship bolster their security and we encourage those who have suffered from or fear hate crime attacks to apply.”

Fundamental values

Prime Minister Theresa May added: “Freedom of worship, respect, and tolerance for those of different faiths is fundamental to our values and I am determined to stamp out extremism and hate crime wherever it occurs.”

She said that security at places of worship is “important to provide congregations with peace of mind”.

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