Mosques and Muslim faith schools have been given access to £24.5 million for security measures to protect their premises, the security minister has announced.
The funding has been put in place because 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.
Places of worship can now bid for funding to put in place security measures to help tackle this threat. This 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.
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.”
Muslim lobby group MEND welcomed the scheme and encouraged all vulnerable mosques and associated faith community centres to apply.
But it warned against any strings or conditions being attached to the funding, such as participation in any Prevent or other counter-terror programmes.
MEND said: “If any mosques or faith community centres are approached on such matters, at any point during the process, we encourage them to get in touch with MEND for advice and guidance at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The Muslim Council of Britain has also prepared a guide for those mosques or faith schools wishing to apply.