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Violent Attacks on Clergy

Volume 573: debated on Thursday 9 January 2014

6. What discussions the Commissioners have had with Government Ministers on recent trends in the number of violent attacks on clergy. (901878)

Figures on these cases are not held centrally, and supporting clergy who have suffered attacks is the responsibility of the individual diocesan bishops.

I think we all recognise the excellent work that the clergy do in our local communities. Unfortunately, at times, they do put themselves in harm’s way. Would the right hon. Gentleman support a Government review of these attacks, and is it time to look at designating them as religious hate crimes?

As the hon. Lady says, clergy are often on the front line in supporting the most vulnerable in the community and, sadly, that sometimes results in their being attacked. I wonder whether she would mind if I discussed this matter with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to see whether they feel that such a review is necessary in these circumstances.