Security Guidance Sent to UK Churches after Murder of French Priest

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: August 31, 2016

The organization National Churchwatch issued a new security guidance to every church in the UK in the wake of the murder of French priest Jacques Hamel by Islamist terrorists.

The organization recommends that all church buildings have CCTV, a single public entrance that can be slammed shut against attackers, and personal attack alarms for key personnel.

The advice states: "If someone produces a weapon during a service (and this will usually be a knife or blunt instrument) then you will need to get people out of the church. Do not let them just sit there and watch what is going on.

"They are at risk. It only takes seconds for someone to stab a large number of people as we have seen in various attacks around the country.

"Think about how you would get the congregation out. This is especially important in larger churches where the children may be separated from their parents in a Sunday School."

According to the BBC: "National Churchwatch's director, Nick Tolson, said eight clergy had been murdered - all in knife attacks - since 1996."

"He said the risk of an attack had risen since the murder in July of Father Hamel, who had his throat cut when two men stormed his church in a suburb of Rouen, northern France, during Mass."

"My experience tells me it won't be a large church or cathedral," he said. "It'll be a small church where there's not much around and the police are a long way away."

Source: BBC