Vandalism: Religious Buildings

Home Office written question – answered on 3rd February 2020.

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Photo of Andrea Jenkyns Andrea Jenkyns Conservative, Morley and Outwood

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to recent acts of vandalism on a Synagogue and a Mosque in London, if she will introduce further measures to protect religious buildings and congregations.

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

Attacks on places of worship are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Through the Government’s Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme, and the Jewish Communities Protective Security Grant, the Government provides reassurance and appropriate measures to better protect all faith groups from hate crime. Funding for the Places of Worship scheme has been increased in the current year to £1.6 million (double the amount awarded last year), and the Chancellor has announced a further increase to £3.2 million for 2020/21.

Tackling faith related hate crime is a key commitment in the Cross-Government Hate Crime Action Plan, and we regularly engage with faith representatives and organisations.

In addition, we have committed £5 million over three years for the provision of security training to places of worship, and we have committed to consult with communities on what more can and should be done to protect faith communities.

We have also asked the Law Commission to conduct a wide-ranging review into hate crime, looking at the breadth of hate crime legislation, and whether new strands should be introduced.

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