The government announced on 26 July 2016 a scheme for funding security measures to prevent hate crime. The scheme is only open for 8 weeks with a deadline for applications of 20 September 2016. The funds made available total £2.4 million and the objective of the fund is to “provide security measures and equipment for vulnerable places of worship that need increased protection.”
We understand that a second round of funding will be made available in spring 2017.
Trustees and church officers will need to consider the risk to their particular chapel. The government website dealing with this scheme is https://www.gov.uk/guidance/places-of-worship-security-funding-scheme
. From that you will note that in justifying a claim, you must provide supporting documents to show that you need increased security. These can include police reports, records of incidents, photographic evidence or insurance claims. You must demonstrate that either your place of worship or one from your local community (within 2 miles) has been subject to a hate-based attack.
An application for funds goes before an advisory panel which is made of representatives from the Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities who have expertise on security issues in relation to places of worship. The panel will also include a representative from the police and a charitable foundation with experience in assessing charitable bids.
You may consider it inappropriate to make application for funding in these circumstances but even so, the introduction of this scheme does highlight the need to review from time to time the security of our chapels and what steps might be appropriate for improving security. The government website does give contacts for local security firms, locksmiths and police advisory officers which you may wish to contact for your local area.
A member of our committee may be able to give further advice on the application process, depending on circumstances.
1 September 2016