16 January 2019
It is important to understand the risks churches face and how best to make them safe for the future. As always Ecclesiastical is here to provide guidance and support to your church.
The Protective Security Conference
Some simple steps to help you develop your response
- Raise awareness of potential security attacks amongst staff and volunteers. Additional training may be necessary. A permanent diligence culture is critical. Often, attackers will visit a building a number of times to plan their attack before the actual event.
- Report any suspicious activity immediately to the police.
- Consult experts for advice. Regional police forces are supported by dedicated Counter Terrorism Advisor Teams.
- Review security at entry points to your premises including vehicle access. Do existing door and window locks appear robust/adequate or do they need improving? Are internal doors closed and locked in the evening?
- Does your current intruder, fire alarm or CCTV system meet your individual requirements – or are there identified blind spots?
- Are appropriate background checks undertaken on new or existing staff and volunteers?
- Has a formal and recorded search plan been introduced at opening and closing times to identify any suspicious activity or devices?
- Extra attention and precautions are required when arranging special events. Think about having dedicated staff for car parking and visitor conflicts.
- Are staff or volunteers aware of how to respond to suspicious mail, emails or unidentified objects?
- Do not make life easier for attackers. Do not allow ignition sources or other materials that could be used in an attack to be left inside or outside the building.
- Ensure your business continuity plan is straightforward, up-to-date and meets your needs. Staff and volunteers should be aware of the plan. Test the plan on a regular basis. The plan should be available and easy to use in challenging scenarios.
- Have you appropriate debrief and counselling support available should an event occur, which affects your staff and volunteers?