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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Mosques and Muslim faith schools given access to £24.5 million through Places of Worship Protective Security Fund

Credit: PA:Press Association

Credit: PA:Press Association

Mosques and Muslim faith schools have been given access to £24.5 million for security measures to protect their places of worship and schools and make our streets safer.

Muslims continue to experience an increased threat of hate crime. In 2020/2021, 45% of religious hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales were targeted against Muslims.

From today, Muslim places of worship can bid for funding to put in place security measures to help tackle this threat. The Home Office will cover 100% of the cost of the work. But we must act fast – entries close on 14th July, 2022. 

The funding could include the installation of CCTV cameras and perimeter fencing to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect worshippers. Muslims will be also able to register their interest in security guarding services at mosques, to ensure that their communities can worship safely and without fear.

In addition, the Places of Worship scheme will also provide £3.5 million to improve the security of places of worship for other faith communities, except the Jewish community, who receive funding through a separate scheme. All places of worship who feel they are vulnerable to hate crime are encouraged to apply.

This latest round of funding marks the government’s ongoing commitment to protecting people’s right to practise their faith without fear and to making our streets safer.

Security Minister, Damian Hinds said:

“It is a fundamental right to be able to practise your faith in your community.

This new round of funding will cover the costs of security measures for places of worship to deter and prevent hate crime attacks on vulnerable communities, making our streets safer.

I encourage any place of worship which feels vulnerable to hate crime to apply for funding through the Places of Worship fund.”

The Places of Worship Fund is part of the government’s commitment to ensure that faith communities in England and Wales are protected from the threat of hate crime attacks by providing funding to places of worship such as churches, mosques, gurdwaras, temples and associated faith community centres in order to improve physical security.

As part of this increased package, the government is also introducing a new scheme for Muslim faith schools to provide additional protection that will be rolled out later in the year.

Further details of the funding scheme and how to apply are provided via this link. Applications can be made until 23:59 on 14th July 2022.

Mosque Security will be hosting tailored events and webinars on the 2022 Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme, which will look at the criteria for applications, the timeline and the processes involved. Watch this space for more information, and registration details as new updates and webinars are released, and follow us on:

Facebook: @MosqueSec

Twitter: @MosqueSecurity

In the meantime, a comprehensive list of FAQs regarding the 2022 Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme is available below-

When is the application deadline?

Applications can be made until 23:59 on 14th July 2022. The Home Office cannot consider any applications received after this date.

What will the funding scheme cover?

The scheme covers the costs of equipment and installation of all security measures agreed for your place of worship. This includes any maintenance costs for one year from the installation date (such as for CCTV systems or for Monitored Intruder Alarm Systems). You can apply for the installation of up to 3 protective security measures at your place of worship or associated faith community centre.

The types of security measures available are listed below:

  • CCTV (fixed cameras, not pan-tilt cameras)
  • Secure fencing and/or railings (no more than 2.1m high)
  • manually operated pedestrian and vehicle gates
  • Door hardening, locks and mail box / mail bag
  • reinforcing glazed windows (with anti-shatter film or bars/grilles only)
  • intruder alarms including integrated smoke/heat detection
  • door entry access control (fob or keypad)
  • video intercom systems
  • lighting (building mounted)

What will the funding scheme NOT cover?

The government cannot fund any additional costs that might result from measures being installed, such as the cost of applying for planning permission or any preparatory work needed (for example clearing the grounds).

Therefore, the scheme cannot be used to fund:

  • planning permission
  • general building improvements
  • standard security upgrades (e.g. should measures installed under this scheme become outdated after a number of years)
  • measures to tackle anti-social behaviour, lead theft, or other criminality unconnected with hate crime
  • security personnel/guarding – unless this is at a Muslim place of worship.

Can I still apply if I received funding through the scheme in 2020-21 or 2021-22?

If your place of worship has received funding through the scheme in 2020-21 or 2021-22 you may still apply. However, funding for places of worship who have received funding in the last two years will be at the discretion of the Home Office and will only be awarded where there is very strong evidence of an ongoing vulnerability to hate crime. We encourage mosques who have received funding through the scheme in the last two years to apply for guarding services if security guarding would be benefit their site and attending worshippers.

Who CANNOT apply for The Places of Worship Protective Security Funding scheme?

The Places of Worship Protective Security Funding scheme cannot accept applications for the following:

  • living accommodation
  • educational facilities (faith schools and other educational institutions are not eligible. As announced there is a separate scheme for Muslim Faith Schools in 2022/23)
  • NHS establishments including chapels and prayer rooms
  • other buildings that are owned by the place of worship or faith community but not used for regular worship (for example cafes, education centres, youth centres etc). Where these structures exist within the place of worship or on the same site, only the protection of the actual place of worship can be covered by the scheme

What is the ‘security guarding services’ for Muslim places of worship?

This financial year (2022/2023) mosques and associated faith community centres can also apply for some security guarding services, where they feel security guards will improve the safety of their site and those worshipping there.

The provision of a guarding service will only be available at Muslim places of worship. Interested Muslim communities will be able to apply for both guarding services and physical security measures (CCTV, fencing etc – as outlined above).

If you are interested in applying for security guarding services at your mosque, please indicate this on your application form.

Who is responsible for the management of this funding scheme?

Esotec Limited will continue to manage the scheme on behalf of the Home Office and will be the main point of contact for places of worship to discuss the agreed security measures for their particular site. Esotec Limited will also arrange for the eventual installation of security measures at places of worship who have been successfully awarded funding through the scheme.

What does the application process entail?

1. Online Application:

To apply for funding through the scheme, you will need to complete an online application.

As part of the application form you will be asked to provide evidence of hate crimes your community has experienced at your place of worship – please provide as much detail and supporting evidence as you can.

2. Site Survey:

If your application successfully demonstrates your vulnerability to hate crime, Esotec Limited will arrange a Site Survey to visit your place of worship with a local ‘Designing Out Crime Officer’. 

3. Independent assessment:

All site assessments that agree that a particular place of worship would benefit from the installation of physical security measures will then need to be reviewed by Independent Advisory Panel. The panel is made up of representatives from the Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities who have expertise on security issues in relation to their respective faiths. The panel may also include a representative from the police crime prevention initiatives, and a Welsh representative.

4. Application Outcome:

Due diligence checks will be carried out by the Home Office throughout the application process. The Home Office will let applicants know by email whether they have been successful or not under the scheme at the earliest opportunity.

5. Installation of Security Measures:

If your application for funding under the scheme is successful, Esotec Limited will contact you to arrange a date to install your approved security measures. The Home Office will cover 100 percent of the costs to purchase and install agreed security measures, which will be paid directly to Esotec Limited.

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