Safe religious sites. The EU project implemented at the University of Lodz Biohazard Prevention Centre
15 June 2022
The EU ProSPERES project is implemented at the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection of the University of Lodz. The international consortium of 18 partners led by the University of Lodz is researching the level of safety in religious sites. The project budget amounts to over EUR 3,300,000.
The objective of the ProSPERES project is to raise the level of protection in places of worship through cooperation of scientists, security experts and practitioners, public services and faith institutions (the consortium is represented by: Catholic Church, Greek Orthodox Church and Jewish Community) in order to prepare a comprehensive protection system.
Religious sites are considered to be especially vulnerable to attacks due to their accessibility and the fact that there are usually limited security measures applied. In recent years, religious sites of different faiths have been targeted by extremists.. The feedback collected from religious institutions and authorities indicates that there is growing awareness of threats and a need for increased security, but a balance should be kept between security and preservation of the open nature of religious sites.
Marcin Podogrocki, the project manager from the University of Lodz Biohazard Prevention Centre.
The system will cover measures for increasing prevention, protection, deterring and responding to various types of terrorist threats and incidents that may occur in religious places, including attacks with CBRN agents (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats).
To assess the vulnerability of places of worship to terrorist attacks, the tool developed by DG Home of the European Commission “Vulnerability Assessment Tool/Checklist” will be adapted. The developed measures will consist of a set of recommendations for counteraction and response procedures, equipment, infrastructure improvements and protocols for cooperation with public services. The system will be implemented through:
preparing and initiating modular training including eLearning with VR,
carrying out large-scale exercises,
conducting EU-wide awareness-raising campaign aiming at faith-based leaders, worshipers and public in general.
The expected duration of the project is 24 months, and its cost is EUR 3,331,210.67. The project is financed by the European Commission from the Internal Security Fund – Police programme.
There are 18 partners in the consortium led by the University of Lodz. Among them, from Poland:
Komenda Wojewódzka Policji w Łodzi,
Jewish Community in Warsaw,
Komenda Stołeczna Policji,
Komenda Miejska Policji Wrocław,
Dynamic Safety Corporation sp. z o.o.,
Fundacja Obserwatorium Społeczne, Akademia WSB,
Centrum Informacji Kryzysowej, the Centrum Badań Kosmicznych PAN,
The Main School of Fire Service.
International Security and Emergency Management Institute – Slovakia,
Center for Security Studies – Greece,
STICHTING DUTCH INSTITUTE FOR TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY & SECURITY – The Netherlands,
HELLENBERG INTERNATIONAL – Finland,
CARDET CENTRE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY LIMITED – Cyprus,