Places of Worship: Hate Crimes

Home Department – in the House of Commons on 13th July 2020.

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Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley

What steps her Department is taking to prevent hate crimes against places of worship.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

We are committed to protecting places of worship from hate crimes through the places of worship protected security scheme. The funding for next year, at £3.2 million, is an uplift of nearly double the amount awarded last year. A public consultation on providing greater protection from hate crime for places of worship closed on 28 June. We are reviewing the responses and will respond in due course.

Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley

There is a balance to be struck between worshipping openly and being provided with adequate security. Will the Minister say what success the Government’s places of worship protective security funding scheme has had in achieving that balance?

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

Very much so. I can assure my hon. Friend that the places of worship protective security funding scheme has been designed so that each place of worship can apply for practical security measures that suit their individual needs, ranging from CCTV to alarm systems. This allows each place of worship to remain open and accessible for worshippers, while providing greater security. We want to ensure that this scheme listens to worshippers and their communities when seeking to achieve the balance to which he rightly refers.