HC Deb 10 May 1999 vol 331 c68W
40. Mr. Ben Chapman

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will make a statement on the commissioners' plans to encourage parishes to carry out risk assessments in relation to crime against churches. [82619]

Mr. Stuart Bell

Guidance to parishes on church security is given through the publications of the Council for the Care of Churches. Its booklet "Safe and Sound: a Guide to Church Security", was sent to all incumbents some three years ago. This booklet addresses the complex problems of security in churches, and specifically recommends the establishment of church watch schemes.

In my answer to my hon. Friend on 22 February 1999, Official Report, column 16, I gave details of the Church Risk Management Group in the Diocese of Leicester, which is an admirable scheme for advising parishes on potential risks. Details of the scheme have already been given to other dioceses. Similar schemes are in force in other parts of the country.