•Scheme helps places of worship install alarms, security lighting and CCTV cameras
Religious organisations have been invited to apply for a share of a government fund to improve security at their places of worship.
The places of worship protective security scheme helps churches, mosques, temples and gurdwaras in England and Wales to install alarms, security lighting, fencing and CCTV cameras to deter attackers.
After the mosque attacks in New Zealand last month, ministers announced that £1.6m would be available in the next round of funding – double the amount awarded in 2018/19.
Religious organisations can register their interest in the scheme from Friday, and it will be opened to applications in July.
The home secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “In the coming days and weeks, millions of people from different faiths will be marking religious festivals up and down the UK. At this time of reflection, devotion and celebration, it’s vital everyone feels safe and protected in the places of worship they attend. That’s why we’ve invested another £1.6m into our places of worship protective security scheme and are encouraging religious organisations to apply.”
The government said it recognised that Muslim communities remained anxiousafter the attacks in Christchurch, particularly in advance of Ramadan. Muslim places of worship will be given security training and advice in preparation for the month of fasting, which this year begins on 5 May.
Credits| Press Association, Guardian