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Security at Jewish faith schools

Volume 594: debated on Thursday 26 March 2015

The Petition of residents of the Hendon constituency,

Declares that security at Jewish faith schools is a major concern for families and schools; further that extra security had been funded by parents and others before Autumn 2010; and further that they welcome the additional funding for security provided by the current Government.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to continue funding extra security at Jewish faith schools after 2015.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Dr Matthew Offord, Official Report, 18 March 2015; Vol. 594, c. 7P.]

[P001463]

Observations from the Secretary of State for the Home Department:

A key responsibility for Government is to protect individuals and the communities in which they live. The Government take the security of the Jewish community extremely seriously, and deplore all forms of hate crime, including when it is fuelled by racial or religious hatred. The Government are committed to stamping them out, and ensuring the safety and security of all our communities.

The appalling attacks in Brussels, Paris and Copenhagen have highlighted the particular risks faced by the Jewish community. The Government understand that these types of incidents are a cause for concern to many people, and action to tackle hate crime and extremism is being taken forward through our hate crime action plan and the Prevent strategy,

To address concerns, the police have responded to these incidents by implementing a range of protective security measures, including increased patrolling arrangements, and providing appropriate advice.

The Government’s School Security Grant has provided funding for private security guarding at Jewish state schools in England since 2010. On 18 March 2015, the Prime Minister announced a funding package to supplement existing measures to provide for security guarding at Jewish independent schools, synagogues and other community buildings, as well as equipment to boost the physical security of sites.

All Government funding beyond 2015-16 will be subject to a spending review, to be carried out after the election by the new Government. In the meantime, these and other security arrangements remain under review by Government and the police, and all appropriate measures will be put in place to combat any threats and to ensure the safety and security of all our communities.