.

Security funding boost for places of worship in Derbyshire

Places of worship will have until August to apply for the funding.

Faith leaders across Derbyshire are being invited to apply for funding to increase security at places of worship as part of an action plan to tackle hate crime.

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa, National Lead for Hate Crime on behalf of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), said churches, mosques and other religious buildings and community centres could secure funding for up to three protective security improvements to deter hate attacks.

The Places of Worship (POW) Protective Security Funding Scheme is part of the government’s 2016-2020 Hate Crime Action Plan.

The scheme provides funding for protective security measures at places of worship and associated faith community centres which are vulnerable to hate crime.

Due to the pandemic, applicants currently do not need to attend their place of worship or engage Designing Out Crime Officers to undertake assessments.

Mr Dhindsa said: “Unfortunately, tolerance is not as universal as we would hope in 2020. Acts of hatred against a variety of perceived differences are still carried out due to ignorance, prejudice and stupidity.

“I am passionate about eradicating hate, prejudice and intolerance from our county and promoting the values of respect, acceptance and peace. We are all working very hard to live in harmony as a united community and I abhor any crime that undermines our efforts to bring people together and celebrate uniqueness.

“This scheme enables faith leaders to better protect their places of worship and provide valuable reassurance to those who use them. Additional security can help to deter crime and contribute to a safer community and I would urge everybody to consider this opportunity.”

Any crime that is motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity can be classed as a hate crime.

The deadline for bids is 23:59 on 9 August 2020 and applications can comprise up to three protective security measures. Applicants will be required to contribute 20% of the total cost of the security measures and the maximum level of funding is £56,000.

More from Local