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Scottish Government Launch £500,000 Fund to Protect Places of Worship from Hate Crimes

The Scottish Government has announced it is to dedicate half-a-million pounds to fight the rise in hate crimes directed towards places of worship. 

The Hate Crime Security Fund, developed by the Government and Police Scotland, is now open for applications from faith groups. Shona Robison, the Social Justice Secretary and minister in charge of the scheme, said: “The Hate Crime Security Fund will help ensure faith communities in Scotland most vulnerable to hate crime are supported to worship in safety.

“Scotland is an inclusive and tolerant nation, but our society is not immune from the threat of prejudice and hate. Places of worship should be places of peace and sanctuary and our faith communities should feel safe and secure when they visit them.”

The fund will be managed by Impact funding Partners on behalf of the Government, who have announced that the closing date for applications is 21 July 2021. 

Individual grants of up to £20,000 will be available to successful applicants in order to fund a maximum of three security measures such as CCTV, security doors and video doorbells.

There is growing concern over the sustained rise in hate crimes in Scotland over the past 5 years, with places of worship such as mosques being a common target. In a statement on behalf of Police Scotland, Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: “Targeting people, places or communities because of their religious affiliation is unacceptable and Police Scotland works alongside our religious communities to safeguard against crime of any nature, and in particular hate crime. Officers regularly liaise with community and faith leaders and monitor issues and tensions across Scotland”.

 

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