Church security planning

16 September 2019

Risks to church security vary depending on the church’s location, building design and existing security measures.

CCTV camera

Creating a tailored church security plan

Tailoring your response to reflect the individual risks faced.  

  • Conduct a risk assessment
    A personalised risk assessment will help the church identify threats to security. Risks should then be assessed and a balanced and proportionate approach taken to addressing them. 
  • Create a security plan
    Security plans should be developed to address the risks you identify. These plans should be regularly reviewed to ensure they remain up-to-date and reflect any location or site changes. It is important that the plan is compatible with any other plans for the property, for instance evacuation and fire strategy plans. 
  • Incident response and business continuity plans
    These should also be developed to help deal with the aftermath of any attack. You might want to include emergency telephone numbers, alternative locations for activities and roles and responsibilities. 

Preparing your church security plan

  • Any current intruder, fire alarm or CCTV systems should be tested on a regular basis to ensure they work effectively. 
  • Routine checks on door locks, windows and other access points to ensure they are in good working condition. 
  • Outline of key roles and responsibilities for staff and volunteers, such as who locks up at night.
  • There should be a process in place for carrying out background checks on new starters. 
  • Any guidance from local police forces. They may be able to alert you to criminal activity in the area and where necessary, you will have access to dedicated counter-terrorism advisory teams.
  • Proper storage of items that could be used to aid criminals, such as sources of ignition.
  • Rules around formal searches of the premises as the start and end of the day to check for any suspicious or unusual items. 

Your staff and volunteers

Raise awareness of potential security attacks amongst your staff and volunteers. Criminals will often visit a building more than once to plan their attack prior to the actual event. A permanent diligence culture can help to recognise and prevent such activity.

Should an event transpire, make sure you have appropriate debrief and counselling support available for your staff and volunteers. 
Read our church security guide
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