Yesterday we posted Places of worship: security funding scheme following the Home Office announcement of the award of £2.4M towards the provision of protective security measures for places of worship in England and Wales. In parallel with this initiative and in view of recent events in France, the National Police Chiefs’ Council has issued protective security advice specific to Christian places of worship, which we reproduce in full, below.
Protective security advice issued to Christian places of worship
26 Jul 2016
While there is no specific intelligence relating at attacks against the Christian community in the UK, police are urging the community to be alert but not alarmed, report concerns to the police and review their security as a precaution.
National Operational Police Lead for Protect and Prepare Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said:
“There is no specific intelligence relating to attacks against the Christian community in the UK. However, as we have seen, Daesh and other terrorist groups have targeted Christian as well as Jewish and other faith groups in the West and beyond.
“Following recent events in France, we are reiterating our protective security advice to Christian places of worship and have circulated specific advice today. We are also taking this opportunity to remind them to review their security arrangements as a precaution.
“This is part of our ongoing work with faith organisations, as well as other sectors, to help ensure the safety and security of their staff, visitors and members.
“While the threat from terrorism remains unchanged at severe we urge the public to be vigilant. Be alert and not alarmed and report any suspicious activity via the anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321. In an emergency always dial 999.
“The UK police service is working tirelessly with our partners to confront the threat and protect all our communities.
“All of our safety and security advice is available at the National Counter Terrorism Security Office website- www.gov.uk/nactso .”
I suppose you might expect an atheist secularist to object to favourable treatment for places of worship, but the amount mentioned seems modest given the number of such locations in the UK. I am not sure what might be done to “protect” such places that has any chance of being effective. After all, the atrocity in France yesterday was perpetrated by a couple of young men with knives about their person who just walked in off the street during Mass. £2.4 million will not fund an armed guard on the door of every place of worship while it is open. Sectarian hatred between religions is an aberration of the mind and this can only be minimised by education… non-sectarian education. Education which explains that we are all one species, that we share a precarious home on a tiny speck of a planet in a vast uncaring universe and that how we fare depends entirely upon how we treat each other.
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