£500,000 to protect places of worship.
A £500,000 fund will help places of worship to take security measures against hate crime.
Faith communities can apply for grants from the Hate Crime Security Fund, developed by the Scottish Government in partnership with Police Scotland.
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison 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.”
Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: "Faith leaders and their congregations should be able to attend worship without fear of crime or persecution.
"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.
"We thoroughly investigate every hate crime incident. We are also aware hate crime is significantly under-reported, and we always encourage anyone who witnesses an incident, be they victim or bystander, to make us aware and allow us to determine whether an offence has been committed."
The fund, managed by Impact Funding Partners on behalf of the Scottish Government, will be open for applications until 21 July 2021. Grants are expected to be paid in Autumn 2021.
Individual grants of up to £20,000 will be available for a maximum of three security measures to mitigate the risk from hate crime. These can include, but are not limited to, CCTV, security doors, alarms, fencing, video intercoms and improved lighting.
Details of how to apply to the Hate Crime Security Fund, along with a range of supporting information and advice, can be found on the Impact Funding Partners website.
Queries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Faith organisations are encouraged to support individual places of worship in the application process.
The Scottish Parliament has passed the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, to give greater protection to victims and communities targeted by hate crime. The legislation modernises, consolidates and extends hate crime law for the 21st century.
A detailed study looking at the characteristics of victims and perpetrators of reported hate crime incidents in Scotland in 2018-19 found that around two fifths of religion aggravated hate crimes involved prejudice towards the Catholic community, a quarter involved prejudice towards the Muslim community and one in ten cases was towards the Protestant community.
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