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Risk management advice for Places of Worship

In view of the escalation in vandalism/arson and bomb threats to certain Places of Worship, the following advice may be helpful.

You may also find the following advice helpful.

Assess the level of risk

  • Ensure the premises management team assess the level of risk to the buildings and congregation

  • Engage the local Police and Fire Rescue services and seek advice on emergency protocols.

It is recommended that the management team review the National Counter Terrorism Security Office website, where there is security advice for places of worship.

Prepare a security plan

  • Perimeter fencing


    This should present an obstacle to would be intruders and deter entry. The height of perimeter fencing should be at least 2.4 metres, kept in a good state of repair and free from vegetation. Intruders do not like to be seen so the perimeter fencing should ideally be metal mesh or palisade fencing to BS1722.

    - Good security lighting can act as a deterrent

    - Luminaires should be as high as possible to prevent attack.

  • Doors, windows and keys


    - Doors should be secured by good quality locking apparatus, ideally to BS3621

    - Key operated windows locks should be fitted to accessible opening windows

    - Any other openings to buildings to be secured

    - Keys should be restricted to nominated officials and a record of key holders maintained.

  • Alarm systems and CCTV


    Ensure any existing intruder alarm protection is fully operational and maintained by a UKAS accredited (NSI/SSAIB approved) intruder alarm installer.

    If there is no intruder alarm protection to the premises this should be considered. Intruder alarm system should incorporate both audible and remote signalling, linked to a BS 5979 Cat II Alarm Receiving Centre. Any alarm systems utilising confirmation technology should have a dual path alarm transmission system.

    Existing remote signalling intruder alarm systems which benefit from automatic police response must be maintained under contract. Where there is no automatic police response to intruder alarm systems, strongly consider the use of an accredited and SIA licensed commercial key holding company to respond to alarm activations

    Consider installing a CCTV system. Ideally systems should be continually monitored by a 24-hour manned Remote Video Response Centre. There should be sufficient lighting within the premises or the CCTV system should be fitted with night time vision cameras. The system should comply with BS8418 and maintained by a UKAS accredited third party company. There may be Data Protection considerations also.

    When considering the use of a Guarding facility, static guarding providing a continuous presence is preferable to periodic visits by mobile patrols. When appointing a Guarding company, ensure they are compliant with BS7499 and BS 7858, as well as SIA licensed.

    - Consider how to respond to threats and prepare a risk assessment document

    - Consider your response to suspicious packages and formulate an approved action plan

    - Consider a communications strategy, to all parties that may be affected after any serious incident.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.