Police urge vigilance following spate of thefts of lead from church roofs

By Ben Fitzgerald - 13 September 2019


Following a spate of lead thefts from church roofs across Wiltshire, police are calling on members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

In recent weeks, churches of all sizes across the county have been targeted including Malmesbury Abbey and Salisbury Cathedral.  

Approximately £40,000 worth of lead was stolen from The Rectory, Zeals sometime between August 14 and 16. 

At Christ Church in Warminster, over half the lead was removed from the church roof, while approximately six tonnes of lead was stolen from St James Church in Bratton. 

At Malmesbury Abbey, two sections of lead piping were stolen between August 15 and 16, while at Salisbury Cathedral, four 10 ft lead down pipes were stolen from walls. 

Det Sgt Sam Hopkinson said: "In recent weeks, we have had a number of incidents where a large amount of lead has been stolen from churches which will be both extremely costly and inconvenient to repair. 

“I’d like to ask members of the public to help us with our enquiries by reporting any suspicious activity they may see around our churches – this could include anyone seen on church roofs, vehicles parked nearby which aren’t familiar, or any torch lights spotted around churches late at night or in the early hours of the morning. We need to know about this activity as it is happening, so please help by being our eyes and ears and letting us know this information when you see it. 

“Those involved in committing these crimes are causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and we are determined to identify those involved.”

Anyone with information should 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.

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