Middle East conflict: Information for local communities
We know the conflict in the Middle East is profoundly affecting our diverse communities. Barnet Council is working closely with the police and community and faith organisations to ensure our residents feel supported and safe.
To date, we are prioritising engagement with our Jewish and Muslim communities, including setting up roundtable meetings and other opportunities for faith, community and school leaders to tell us and the police what support they need to make them feel safe.
We are also producing updates in partnership with the police, which are being distributed by community leaders.
Supporting Barnet’s faith communities
We are working with the police, charities and other agencies to support the borough’s faith communities to enable them to live safely and freely.
We provide regular updates to keep our Jewish and Muslim communities informed and reassured.
Latest update for Jewish communities
Latest update for Muslim communities
Hate crimes and how to report them
If you prefer, there are also national organisations you can report hate crime to. These include:
- True Vision, run by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, this allows you to report hate crime online
- The Community Security Trust, a national charity to report antisemitic hate crime
- Shomrim, the Neighbourhood Watch group which patrols in areas including Golders Green, Childs Hill, Hendon, Finchley and Temple Fortune
- Tell MAMA, an independent non-government organisation to report anti Muslim hate or Islamophobia
Reporting online pro-terrorism or extremist material
Online safety and the spreading of hate material is a big concern. The police’s Prevent programme is addressing this through its Counter Terrorism Referral Unit’s reporting tool. You can anonymously report any online content that you deem to be illegal or harmful via the Public Referral Tool.
With the iREPORTit website and app anyone can now quickly, securely, and anonymously report material to the police, and help in the fight against online extremism.
Barnet Council Leader’s statements on the Middle East conflict
- 9 October 2023 Barnet Council and community partners' statement on violence in the Middle East
- 9 October 2023 Statement from Barnet Council Leader following violence in the Middle East
- 23 October 2023 Barnet Council Leader responds to Sunday Times article from 22 October 2023
Faith Security Training: Face-to-face sessions
The Home Office has launched the Faith Security Training project, new security awareness training for faith communities. This scheme has been developed in consultation with other government departments and experts from security and policing partners, and it will be a free learning resource for faith communities, with the aim of raising awareness of security risks and how to respond to them.
The Home Office is piloting face to face delivery sessions, and is encouraging members of faith communities, particularly people in positions of leadership or responsibility for security at places of worship, to attend and provide feedback on the content and delivery.
The Faith Security Training course is designed to equip participants with essential skills to enhance the security and safety in their places of worship. Participating in the pilot will give participants the chance to contribute their expertise and materially shape the project, ensuring it is as effective as it can be at helping keep communities safe when the project is rolled out more widely.
People interested in attending one of the pilot sessions will need to complete the expression of interest form here. If you have any questions or would like to speak with someone directly, please contact 03301 75 69 62 or email FaithSecurityBooking@cdsds.uk
Protective security schemes for places of worship
You can apply to the Government for security funding to protect your place of worship against hate crime.
The application process is open until 26 November.
For more information email the Home Office
Community Security Trust funding to help protect British Jews
The Government has announced funding will be provided to the Community Security Trust (CST), an organisation established to protect British Jews from antisemitism and related threats. The CST works closely with the police to secure Jewish community buildings and events.
The funding will enable the CST to place additional guards in schools it supports throughout each school’s operating hours. They will also be able to place additional security staff outside synagogues on Friday nights and Saturday mornings.
Protective Security for Mosques Scheme webinar
On 12 October, in light of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, the Home Office re-opened the Protective Security for Mosques Scheme for applications until Sunday, 26 November.
The Home Office is holding a webinar from 6pm to 7:30pm on 8 November, where they will be presenting details on the scheme, including the security measures available, how to complete the application form, and details on the process. They will also answer any questions potential applicants may have. Any specific questions should be sent in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Home Office is encouraging councils to promote the scheme to Mosques and Muslim community centres in their local area and networks which have experienced hate crime or feel they are vulnerable to it.
An application can be made via the following link. The application process is open until 26 November.
For further inquiries, please contact email@example.com.
Support humanitarian efforts
In response to the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, The Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal to support the people affected.
If you are concerned about a British national in the Middle East, you can call the FCDO in London on 020 7008 5000 and find more advice on GOV.UK.
Social media awareness
Following advice from the police, we urge caution when sharing news and updates on social media and messaging apps. Make sure any information comes from a reliable source, such as the Government, Police, Community Security Trust or Tell MAMA.
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