The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has welcomed the increased funding for the Places of Worship Protective Security Fund, with £3.2m now available. The fund, which allows places of worship to apply for funding to improve physical security such as gates, locks, alarms and CCTV to deter and prevent hate crime attacks, is open for applications until 9th August.
Mayor John Biggs had lobbied the Government to increase the funding available and has welcomed the doubling of funding from £1.6m to £3.2m, but warns that the limited amount is a nationwide fund and likely to be over-subscribed.
The Mayor has this week written to all faith institutions across Tower Hamlets about the security fund and to invite them to make applications. The Mayor has also emphasised that Tower Hamlets Council funds a ‘designing out crime officer’ that can support places of worship in the borough to make funding bids.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: “We’ve lobbied Government to increase the money available for security improvements at places of worship and I’m glad they have now done so.
“There have been a number of attacks against places of worship around the world in recent years, and it’s important we work together to boost security at faith institutions across Tower Hamlets and keep worshippers safe.
“We work closely with our faith institutions and we will support them to bid for this money in what is likely to be a competitive bidding process. As a council we fund a designing out crime officer who can help our places of worship to submit strong bids.”
Cllr Sirajul Islam, Deputy Mayor for Housing with responsibility for working with Faith Communities, said: “I’m very pleased that the national fund has increased and now there’s extra money for places of worship and faith community centres to improve security through measures such as new CCTV, better lighting, fencing, gates and locks.
“Applications can be made until the 9th of August, and we’re reaching out to places of worship and worshippers across the borough to start work on their bids as soon as possible.”