12th February 2021
The Hot Topic – Rise in Religious Hate Crimes Calls for Greater Security
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) describes a hate crime to be “a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.”
In the UK there were 103,379 hate crime offences recorded by the police in 2018/19. Out of those recorded, 87% of these crimes were motivated by the victim having a religious belief along with other motives, according to the Home Office. From this research on religious hate crimes, the Guardian reported, “Just under half (47%) of religious hate crime offences were targeted against Muslim people (3,530 offences), a similar proportion to last year… however hate crimes against Jewish people more than doubled, with 18% of religious hate crime offences.”
From these statistics, hate crimes towards individuals and/or groups with religious beliefs isn’t slowing off and in some cases is getting worse. A quote from BBC News, “Imam Ahmed Ali, from the Al-Ikhlas Islamic Centre in Adamsdown, Cardiff, said members of his congregation had been verbally abused when leaving the building and graffiti had been sprayed on its walls.” In many cases, some groups are unable to attend their place of worship without being abused, verbally or physically. From the increase shown, what’s being done to protect individuals, groups and places of worship from these acts of crime?
To combat the crimes against religious places of worship (POW) the Government set out a hate crime action plan 2016-2020, with a commitment to a place of worship protective security funding scheme. This scheme allows POW funding to cover the costs of up to 3 physical security measures which include: CCTV, fencing and/or railings, manual and automated gate systems, security doors and locks to name a few. But the question is, which security measure should be chosen in order to protect against these offences?
From a completely protected site and the prevention of intruders from accessing the premises, a fully secure fence line and gating system would be the option to start with. A security fencing system would act as a first line of defence against those wanting to commit these crimes during use, whilst also knowing intruders are unable to access the premises to graffiti or vandalise when closed. Another major point to share when starting with the fence line for security measures, is that many other security systems can be used in conjunction with them. For example, a set of security gates would help to restrict or control access onto the premises or CCTV cameras/sensors can be mounted on fencing systems for added visibility and security. The main idea for these security measures funded by the Government is to deter these hate crime offenders and detect any individuals trying to gain access for malicious reasons. Whilst we know religious hate crimes are unfortunately on the rise, the need for better protection has never been greater. We hope the installation of security measures for these areas will give individuals the peace of mind they need when using their place of worship.
If you’d like any information about our fencing and gate systems, then please call us on 01270 76475 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to talk through your project requirements.