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Last updated 8th March 2022

Preventing Arson and Malicious Damage

Whether they are in isolated rural locations or inner city neighbourhoods, place of worship are vulnerable to arson and malicious damage 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.  

Simple steps can be made to reduce the probability of your church falling victim to one of these crimes. Ecclesiastical Insurance have produced a new guidance note on preventing arson and malicious damage.