Ecclesiastical and many other organisations fought hard to bring metal theft under control in the late 2000s and a combination of their pressure, new legislation and police enforcement have brought metal theft to current low levels. However, the price of lead has been increasing rapidly and is now at levels higher than during the previous metal theft epidemic. The Police have been in touch with Ecclesiastical to remind us all to be vigilant as once thieves realise the new prices they may start to target churches in large numbers again.
We are aware also that certain areas of the country are already suffering increased thefts – Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Oxford, East Anglia being the current hotspots. In 2016, a number of cases have also been reported in the Diocese of Gloucester.
Please be vigilant, make sure you have applied SmartWater (or an alternative forensic marker) to any external metal and do read the detailed guidance at www.ecclesiastical.com/churchmetaltheft or call them on 0345 777 3322.