The amount of money MPs are spending on security has skyrocketed following the murder of Jo Cox, new figures show. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority’s latest accounts show MPs spent 2.5m on security in 2016/17 – up from 170,000 the previous year. The figures are part of the annual report of MPs expenses. IPSA chair Ruth Evans said the rise was a reminder that “we take the security of MPs, and that of their families and their staff, very seriously”.
Image: The rise came after MP Jo Cox was killed in June 2016
MPs have previously spoken of having to carry personal alarms1, which are GPS-enabled and allow them to record conversations for police records. Similar devices were also offered to constituency workers following attacks on MPs’ offices.
A new IPSA fund was also created in 2016 for MPs to claim for alarm systems, shutters and CCTV.
A church is supposed to be a place of safety and security. But Sunday s mass shooting in Texas marks the second time in two years a gunman has turned a place of worship into a place of war. It’s raising new questions about church security . But the head of Chicago s archdiocese says don’t expect to see armed guards or metal detectors. Cardinal Blase Cupich says thoughts and prayers are nice, but the church shooting in Texas demands more than just talk. “It’s time now to act, and we need to do something about the growing violence due to these high powered weapons in our country, Cupich said. The head of Chicago s archdiocese says he has already instituted a ban on guns in churches . but even after the carnage in Texas and the massacre of nine people by a white supremacist in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina two years ago, Cupich says he does not see the need to beef up security in Chicago s Catholic churches. “I don’t want to make our churches places in which people feel as though they should be fearful about coming in .
We want to create safe environments where people do come in and for people to be alert, Cupich said. “What you have with churches, you have a collection of people all in one spot . Unfortunately, someone with bad intentions, that’s an attractive target, said Mike Verden. Former secret service agent Mike Verden says churches are considered soft targets with little security . He says short of armed guards and metal detectors, there are ways churches can make themselves more secure, including controlling access points, monitoring social media, meeting with local police and fire officials to develop an emergency response plan and awareness training for staff. The Reverend Michael Pfleger, whose St . Sabina s church is in one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods, agrees armed guards aren’t the answer. “We are not ever going to have armed security in our church . I refuse to fall into this madness of more guns .
I heard the Attorney General in Texas talk about more people should bring their guns to church . That’s madness, said Rev . Michael Pfleger.
Belfast security alert closes Antrim Road in both directions
Police in Belfast are at the scene of a security alert following the discovery of a suspicious object on the Antrim Road. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/belfast-security-alert-closes-antrim-road-in-both-directions-36294056.html
Police in Belfast are at the scene of a security alert following the discovery of a suspicious object on the Antrim Road. The road is closed in both directions at its junction with the Newlodge Road and Carlisle Circus.
Diversions are in place . There are no further details at this time. Sinn Fein north Belfast Councillor JJ Magee condemned those behind the alert.
He said: The ongoing security alert in the New Lodge area has caused significant disruption to local residents.
Those responsible have shown complete disregard for this community.
The alert has seen the closure of Sheridan Street and is not far from the local primary school, St Patrick s .
The North Queen Street community centre has been made available for residents affected.
“If this does prove to be a viable device those responsible must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
More to follow
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