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Press release - Looking after one another: the safety and security of our faith communities

Looking after one another: the safety and security of our faith communities has today been published by the Inter Faith Network for the UK (IFN)

in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council.

IFN’s Co-Chairs, the Rt Revd Richard Atkinson and Jatinder Singh Birdi, said:

“These guidelines give practical guidance to faith communities on preventing and responding to hate motivated attacks and also send a strong signal of faith community solidarity and commitment to mutual support at times of difficulty.”

Faith and Integration Minister, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, said:

“This week we saw people of all faiths make clear in a moving act of solidarity that hate and intolerance is entirely unacceptable in this country.

“This practical guidance will give people of all faiths confidence to stand up to the perpetrators of hate crime. We need to work together to tackle all forms of prejudice.”

Sarah Newton, Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism, said:

“Hate crime is not and never will be acceptable. It has no place in a Britain that works for everyone, and this Government is determined to stamp it out.

“Last year we published a new action plan which focuses on reducing hate crime, increasing reporting and improving support for victims, and we have committed £2.4 million to protect places of worship from hate crime attacks.

“It is important that Britain’s many communities work in partnership, particularly in times of difficulty such as after a terrorist attack - so the Inter Faith Network’s timely advice is very welcome.”

Cdr Mak Chishty, National Police Chiefs’ Council, said:

“Looking After One Another is an excellent guide to ensuring that we all look after each other and all stand together.”

The document contains guidance on responding jointly to attacks on places of worship; working for calm at times of tension; and working to build on and strengthen existing good inter faith relations. It contains material about how and where to report hate incidents, cyber-attacks, and actual or suspected terrorist activity; where to find information on strengthening the security of buildings; and where to find information about working to build – and strengthen – good inter faith relations locally.

These practical pointers for responding in solidarity have particular resonance at the present time when there is a need to watch out for the wellbeing of any groups who may be targeted because of terrorist actions which claim, or are perceived by some, as having a link to them.

NOTES

  1. Press queries to Inter Faith Network: tel 020 7730 0410; email ifnet@interfaith.org.uk 
  2. The Inter Faith Network for the UK www.interfaith.org.uk was founded in 1987 to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Britain and to promote good relations between people of different faiths in this country. It works with its member bodies and others to carry out these aims.
  3. Member bodies of the Inter Faith Network include: national faith community representative bodies; national, regional and local inter faith bodies; and academic institutions and educational bodies concerned with inter faith issues. A list of member bodies can be found at http://www.interfaith.org.uk/members.   IFN’s national faith community representative body members meet as the Faith Communities Forum, which assisted in development of this guidance.
  4. The Inter Faith Network for the UK is Registered Charity no. 1068934 and Company limited by guarantee no. 3443823. Registered in England, registered address 2 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH.
  5. The permanent link to the document is https://www.interfaith.org.uk/resources/looking-after-one-another-the-safety-and-security-of-our-faith-communities-2017