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Arson and malicious attacks on places of worship

Arson and malicious attacks continue to be a leading cause of damage to places of worship in the UK and at Ecclesiastical Insurance we have seen a number of such claims in 2015 across a diverse range of faith communities.

This can be a devastating crime both in terms of the physical damage to property and also the emotional impact on the local community and unfortunately, faith organisations need to be more vigilant than ever before to protect their places of worship.

Whether they are in isolated rural locations or inner city neighbourhoods, place of worship are vulnerable for a number of reasons:

Places of worship are seen as soft targets

Most other arson prone buildings such as shops, factories and schools often have much tighter security and therefore places of worship can be seen as soft targets by petty criminals many of whom will be youths and children involved in acts of mindless vandalism.  

Places of worship are potential target for hate crimes

Unfortunately, places of worship can be targeted by those who are intent on sending politically or religiously motivated hate messages. These can vary from graffiti on the building to malicious damage and destruction of property by arson

Places of worship attract professional thieves

Religious articles of high value or even the materials the buildings are made with can be attractive to thieves if economic factors are favourable. Art values or price of metal for example can increase the interest of professional thieves.  

We have produced a new guidance note on Arson prevention and also a Terrorism Checklist which are now available and designed for you to share your Faith clients.

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.