POLICE are urging local communities to be extra-vigilant to help curb the ongoing problem of lead thefts from church roofs.
Since January, about 50 churches have been targeted in around 60 separate instances and, with more than 600 churches in the county to protect, police say it is unrealistic to claim effective prevention can take place without significant community participation.
Officers are working to identify the most vulnerable sites, but say that regular patrols of all churches is simply not possible without other priorities suffering.
So, the public are being urged to take responsibility for these heritage buildings and to take an active interest in suspicious activity in their village or town..
Chief Inspector Mark Housley said: ““We all have a responsibility and a role to play in making our communities safe and if we work together we can make a real impact on this issue.
“The key here is early reporting in terms of descriptions of people and cars, particularly registration plates.
“We want you to act on your instincts and report any activity you think is out of the ordinary, you won’t be wasting our time – your information could lead to the arrests we need.”