In this blog, place of worship means Churches, Synagogues, Mosque Gurdwara, Temples etc. Terrorist attacks which tend to have a have continuing and serious effects effect on the. You may find other right-wing extremist trying to replicate similar terrorist act, or you could see other religious terrorist group trying to retaliate and take revenge on other places of worship.
The aim of this post is not to create fear, panic or division; the goal is to draw the attention of managers or overseers of the various place of worship of the current need to improve security around there facility.
Before we proceed any further if you require funding to provide security at your place of worship in the UK, the government is able to provide communities funding for your place of worship in the UK, Please visit Places of Worship (POW): protective security funding scheme for more details
Also, check out these important articles/blogs:
- Keeping Your Family Safe During a Terrorist Attack.
- How To Hire A Security Company
Security For Places of Worship
One of the ways to beef up security around the place of worship will be to contact the best security companies to provide round the clock security guard presence. Or you could have security officers deployed to man/patrol your facility two days before your specific religion day of worship and one day after.
Important Tips to Prevent Terrorist Attack
I like to mention that liaising with local police regarding the security/safety of your religious facility and followers is one important step to take, before contracting a security company to provide security guards to look after your place of worship.
Installing CCTV cameras outside and inside your facility is also very important. Because there is a likely hood you might get hate inspired people wanting to vandalise your religious ground; especially if your place of worship is situated in a neighbourhood that has a significant number of intolerant individuals.
Back to the hiring of security guards; once again if you have any immediate concern about a threat or safety issue for your worshipers or place of worship, I will advise you to contact your local police and make a report.
Hiring of security guards is essential because the physical presence of security officers patrolling your religious place of worship makes your congregant feel safe. Also sends a message to anyone planning to disturb or attack your sacred site that they are being watched and would possibly get arrested and face prosecution. Before you engage security companies to provide security for your place of worship; inquire if they could try and include as part of the team, at list one security personnel who identifies with your religion or place of worship. The purpose of this particular request is to help the rest of the security team deployed to look after the place of worship, navigate smoothly and educate the team on any religious sensitivity!
In a situation where the security services provider might not find a security guard who has similar faith as the place of worship; I would recommend the religious institution to nominate one of their members to liaise and consult with the security company and the security guards.
There have been so many occasions where terrorist have used vehicles that are packed with explosives for their terrorist attack. There have been so many such examples, from Nigeria, Iraq, to Afghanistan and the UK, where the terrorist preferred method of causing a maximum casualty, is to use a motor vehicle with as many tons of explosive as possible.
When building your car parks, the further it is from worshipers the better. Try and avoid making your car parks beneath or above the auditorium. If possible, it should be detached from the main building. The reason is, to protect the central place of worship from being impacted by possible explosion and projectiles.
If your Churches, Synagogues, Mosque Gurdwara, Temples has already been built, and you are only looking to improve the security of your place of worship against any possible terrorist attack. Then it is important that you create a car park allocation system.
A system where, all worshiper’s that will be using your car parks, during worship or functions days with a large number of people, will be allocated parking tickets. Before such tickets are allocated, each vehicle owner would have to register with the place of worship, indicating the kind vehicle that will be parked.
Make sure all the details of the persons that would be driving each car is also collected. Always give priority to such parking arrangement to regular members of your religion. Often, it is strangers who are likely to attack a particular place of worship than members of that specific place of worship.
Vehicles that are not registered to park should be advised to park as far away as possible from your place of worship. Also, don’t forget to give them forms to fill if they are planning to park their cars inside your car park in the Future.
Make sure, vehicle registration and drivers details are current and can be officially verified. So you avoid being issued false information.
You can choose to implement this system yourself or seek an security company to assist you with this and its implementation.
Only registered and authorised vehicles should be allowed to drive closer to the place of worship. Preventing unknown or hostile vehicle coming close to where a large number of people are gathered should be your goal.
This is one of my favourite devices ‘metal detectors.’ Metal detectors could be handheld ‘ Wand,’ or they could be Entry Doors designed or some to mentioned later. One of their primary purposes is to scan every patron, congregant, faithful entering the place of worship, to make sure they don’t have any prohibited metals on them. Such metals could be knives, guns or other dangerous weapons that could be used by terrorist to inflict maximum carnage.
Most places of worship, are a place of friendship, a place that welcomes strangers and foreigners. But it has turned out that most terrorist attack on places of worship has been carried out by strangers. So I am sure a lot of places of worship, will find it had to implement a lot of the security advice that we have compiled because it will be conflicting with their religious belief and limiting their heart of friendship and compassion to strangers!
I will advise you to provide external lockers, that could be used to store a bags. I am not advocating for bags or rucksacks to be brought to your place of worship. But just in case an individual shows up with a bags, you can provide them with an area of storage after scanning them.
Also make sure the lockers are far away as possible to the main auditorium, to avoid any possible explosion and projectile reaching your patrons.