A HAMPSHIRE MP has urged places of worship to apply for protection from hate crime attacks.

Local Fareham MP, Suella Braverman has urged places of worship to apply for the government's "protective security fund", set up to help improve the physical security of religious buildings to combat hate crime attacks.

The £3.2 million pot was set up in 2016 to protect places of worship such as churches, mosques and temples, by building more security such as secure gates, locks and CCTV systems, and the latest round of applications is now open.

Suella has encouraged Fareham residents to apply for this funding because everyone should be able to worship "without fear of attack or hateful discrimination".

She said: "Everybody in Fareham has the right to worship without fear of attack or hateful discrimination. “If any place of worship in our community feels at risk from hate crimes or attack, I would urge them to apply for this important funding to improve security measures.

"The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of faith to so many people, and this Conservative Government is determined to keep our places of worship, which give so much back to our community, safe.”

Since the introduction of the funding, more than 180 grants have been awarded, which has helped 76 churches, 75 mosques, 23 gurdwaras and nine temples.