Guidance

Places of Worship (POW): protective security funding scheme

Apply for funding for security measures to protect against hate crime.

About the scheme

The places of worship (POW) protective security funding scheme is a government commitment in the hate crime action plan. It provides funding for protective security measures to places of worship and associated faith community centres that are vulnerable to hate crime.

You can submit a bid for funding from 5 July until 23:59 on 31 August 2019. We will not consider any bids received after this date. Applicants can submit bids for up to 3 protective security measures. You will be required to contribute 20% of the total cost of the security measures. The maximum government funding available to any place of worship or associated faith community centre is £56,000.

This funding is not for general improvements, lead theft, security upgrades or measures to tackle anti-social behaviour or other criminality unconnected with hate crime.

This year, Esotec Limited, has been appointed following an open competition to be the single provider responsible for conducting site assessments, quotes and installations of all security measures funded under this scheme.

Hate crime

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. For this scheme, we are focusing on religion. To meet the criteria for consideration for funding, your application will need to demonstrate that your place of worship or associated faith community centre is vulnerable to hate crime based on religion.

Eligibility

We will consider bids from places of worship and associated faith community centres in England and Wales. Below are some examples of those eligible to apply for the funding, but this is not an exhaustive list:

  • churches
  • gurdwaras
  • mosques
  • temples
  • associated faith community centres (we define this as a community centre run by a place of worship or near a place of worship that is faith based, and where regular worship takes place)

Faith schools, educational institutions, NHS establishments (including chapels and prayer rooms) are not eligible to apply.

The Jewish community are not eligible for funding from this scheme as a separate commitment was made to fund security measures at community sites through a grant administered by the Community Security Trust.

Charity status

Places of worship and associated faith community centres are normally charitable and required by law to register as charities if their income from all sources is over £5,000 a year. Some churches are currently excepted from registration.

If you are lawfully exempt, you will be required as part of your application to include a written confirmation of your exemption and the justification of your exemption. If you are not registered as a charity, but are required to be, you will need to register with the Charity Commission before applying to the scheme.

If you would like advice and support on completing the application to register as a charity, are unsure about whether you need to register, or have any other queries about registering as a charity, please contact faithoutreach@charitycommission.gov.uk

Security equipment

You can only bid for funding to cover the costs of up to 3 security measures from the list below. Funding is not available for security personnel/guarding.

The security equipment being covered by this funding scheme includes:

  • CCTV
  • fencing and/or railings
  • gates
  • doors
  • windows
  • alarms
  • locks
  • access control
  • intercom systems
  • lighting

Funding under this scheme only covers the provision and installation of these security measures. It does not cover other associated costs such as licensing and planning permission, or ongoing costs such as charges for annual service, maintenance and monitoring.

The Home Office also has the option to fund some, but not all, of the security measures requested.

Contribution to costs

Places of worship or associated faith community centres will need to have sufficient funds to contribute 20 percent of the total cost of the security measures. This will need to be paid in advance of the installation of the security measures. The Home Office will award funding on a discretionary basis up to a maximum of £56,000.

How to bid

You need to:

  1. Collect evidence to show that your place of worship or associated faith community centre is vulnerable to hate crime. See below for details of what sort of evidence you might provide.
  2. Arrange a site assessment with your local policing designing out crime officer (DOCO) and get them to complete and sign an assessment form. See below for details of how to find your local DOCO.
  3. Complete the online application form and submit your evidence and signed DOCO security assessment form (PDF, 653KB, 20 pages) . If you require any assistance with this, help may be available from your local authority community coordinator or strengthening faith institutions.
  4. If your application meets the basic eligibility criteria, you will be contacted for a quotation assessment appointment by our central contractor, Esotec Limited.

See our Step-by-step infographic (PDF, 258KB, 1 page) of the process.

Stage 1: evidence of vulnerability to hate crime

A ‘hate crime’ can be defined as any crime that is motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity - for this scheme, we are focusing on religion. As part of your application, you need to provide evidence of vulnerability to religious hate crime.

This could include, for example:

  • photographs/reports of incidents at your place of worship/associated faith community centre or nearby
  • police reports of a hate crime or incident at your place of worship/associated faith community centre or nearby
  • a letter or email from your local police force confirming that your institution is in an area where there has been high incidence of religiously motivated hate crimes
  • evidence of particular tensions in the community, for example, from a local authority community coordinator

This list is not exhaustive and any reasonable evidence that you provide will be considered. The 'top tips' (PDF, 158KB, 4 pages) document gives examples of evidence.

Stage 2: site assessment

Once you have collected evidence that your place of worship or associated faith community centre is vulnerable to hate crime, you need to arrange a site assessment and discuss your security requirements with your local policing designing out crime officer (DOCO). The DOCO will provide advice and complete an assessment of the security of your building.

All DOCOs are qualified to the national standard and most have completed a City and Guilds advanced certificate in crime prevention and environment design.

If you are already engaged with a counter terrorism security advisor (CTSA), the survey should be completed by them.

Stage 3: complete the application form online

You will need to complete an online application. You will need to attach your evidence of vulnerability to hate crime and assessment form signed by a DOCO. You must submit your application form by 23:59 on 31 August 2019. We would encourage you to apply early and will not consider any bids received after the closing date.

Stage 4: quotation assessment appointment

If your application meets the basic eligibility requirements, your application will progress to a quotation assessment appointment. Our nominated contractor, Esotec Limited, will contact you to organise this appointment. This appointment will involve the contractor assessing your site in order to give you an accurate quotation for the installation of the physical security measures recommended by the DOCO. Following this appointment, you will then be given an estimated cost for the work.

Esotec Limited may use third party sub-contractors to install any future security measures, as and when required.

Planning restrictions

Successful applicants should note that they will need to seek the appropriate permissions for the work to be carried out (planning permission, listed building consent, faculty permission, and so on, as applicable). The award of the grant does not constitute permission to carry out the works.

Decisions on applications

After you have submitted your application successfully, it will be passed to the Independent Advisory Panel. The panel is made up of representatives from the Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities who have expertise on security issues in relation to their faith buildings. The panel will also include a representative from the police crime prevention initiatives.

The panel will make recommendations to the Home Office on the allocation of funding and final decisions are taken on a discretionary basis. Even if you provide evidence of being vulnerable to religious hate crime, the panel can take other factors into account and still recommend your application is declined. For example, they can recommend either part approval of the funds requested or recommend refusal of the full amount.

Due diligence checks will be carried out by the Home Office for applications put forward by the Independent Advisory Panel.

You will then be advised if you have been successful.

Approved bids: Installation of security measures

If your bid is successful, Esotec Limited as our nominated contractor will engage with you on the installation of your approved security measures. You will need to pay them 20 percent of the agreed costs. The Home Office will pay the remaining 80 percent to this nominated contractor.

The Home Office will undertake audit spot checks on a number of completed projects to ensure that installation is in line with the description in the application and to our satisfaction. All bidders should be prepared that the Home Office may make contact at a later date to arrange a spot visit.

Evaluation: feedback on your experiences

The Home Office is looking to understand how it can improve the places of worship protective security funding scheme and to help us do this we would like to find out more about the experiences of applicants and grantees with the scheme. We are asking the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), an independent research agency, to evaluate the scheme which includes following up with applicants and gathering information to improve the scheme.

As part of the application form you will be asked whether you agree for your application form details, including contact details, to be shared with NatCen.

If you agree to share this information, the Home Office will share your application form data with NatCen via a secure file transfer system. NatCen will analyse your application form data to understand the different places of worship/associated faith community centres that have applied for the scheme and their experiences completing the application form. They may also contact you for a follow up interview to give you the opportunity to provide feedback on your experience and help understand how to improve the scheme.

We would be grateful if you do agree when asked if you are happy to share your details and be contacted by NatCen as this will help us understand how well the scheme is currently working and learn lessons for any future schemes. Your participation in any follow up with NatCen will be voluntary, anything you tell NatCen will be confidential and anonymous and will have no effect on the outcome of your application.

Timetable

Bid opens Bid closes
5 July 2019 23:59 on 31 August 2019

Bid review period commences

Bids will be considered by an independent advisory panel by the end of September 2019 (this date is a guide and can be subject to change)

Outcome communicated

Successful bids will be communicated by November 2019 (this date is a guide and can be subject to change)

Security training fund and consultation

The places of worship protective security funding scheme is separate to the security training fund and consultation announced by the Home Secretary in March this year. Further information on both of these areas will be made available in due course on GOV.UK.

Data protection

To find out more about how we process and protect your information, and your rights in relation to this, please see the Privacy information notice (PIN) (PDF, 118KB, 3 pages) .

Contact us

Esotec Limited will be the first point of contact for the places of worship protective security funding scheme (referring any queries to the Home Office as appropriate).

If you have any queries regarding your application, please contact Esotec Limited.

Published 26 July 2016
Last updated 5 July 2019 + show all updates
  1. Bids open for 2019 fund.
  2. Bids open for 2018 fund.
  3. Bidding open for 2017 funding.
  4. Application deadline extended to 4 October 2016.
  5. Updated guidance and bid form published.
  6. First published.