Advice and Support for Community Leaders on Managing Tensions
The following advice for faith communities has been prepared by the Department for Communities and Local Government
Faith communities have shown great resilience and generosity of spirit in coming together in the aftermath of the shocking attack on the Manchester Arena. Britain has a strong and proud tradition of tolerance and this attack will not change that.
We are aware of the excellent work taking place in communities up and down the country to ensure that we stay united. But this is not done in a vacuum - it is against a very real backdrop of fear and concern, not least because we are about to embark on a particularly holy, and busy time, for our mosques and synagogues in particular.
We want our places of worship and communities to remain open and outward facing, and we hope this advice below can help communities do that.
The Government and the Police will be working hard to ensure communities are safe but there are steps that communities can take to help. We must be able to keep going about our daily lives, so that the terrorists do not win, and with just a few practical steps we should be able to do just that.
- Be vigilant – security is everyone’s concern. The Counter terrorism protective security advice for places of worship provides a helpful guide: Counter terrorism protective security advice for places of worship
- Encourage your communities to not congregate outside the front of community buildings. It makes it harder to spot any suspicious activity.
- Speak to Strengthening Faith Institutions if you would like to talk about how to improve safeguarding and other governance functions at your place of worship.
- Tell someone: Encourage people to report any incidences of hate crime to the Police, True Vision, The Community Security Trust, or Tell MAMA
- In an emergency always call 999
- Please continue to issue statements of condemnation and unity with other faith or community leaders and please continue to reach out to other community or faith leaders, authorities and partners, to demonstrate support and work on joint initiatives
- The Inter Faith Network has produced an excellent set of practical pointers for responding jointly to attacks on places of worship; working for calm in times of tension; and working to build and strengthen good inter faith relations called Looking after one another: the safety and security of our faith communities.
- Engage with Near Neighbours, interfaith charities and local authorities for advice and support if you want to bring communities together to discuss key issues of concern or have 'difficult conversations' to counter tensions between groups. There is also a great toolkit from the Inter Faith Network called Let's Talk: Practical pointers for inter faith dialogue
- Bring any (non emergency) issues of concern to the Police, the Home Office or the Department for Communities and Local Government
- Cascade and amplify messages and statements to your communities by the Prime Minister and other senior leaders to highlight that terrorism will not win. The PM’s latest statements can be found here.
- Support and cascade social media campaigns such as #WeStandTogether or any local responses, which help reassure communities that we are all united and Highlight positive responses such as spontaneous volunteering and fundraising (especially via social media).
- Bring people together – through, for example, commemorative events, community activity such as volunteering or social action and especially through events such as the Big Iftar and the Great Get Together
Circulated 24 May 2017