Churches aim to beat thieves

VULNERABLE churches are calling for help from neighbours in the battle to beat lead thieves.

With the price of the metal remaining high, criminals are persistently targeting churches in the county as a way of making easy money.

But those such as St Nicholas Church, in Islip, are attempting to bounce back by asking for help from the community.

Would-be thieves targeted the church’s vestry roof twice two weeks ago, but were unable to pull away the expensive lead.

Instead, they caused damage which has cost more than £1,000 to repair.

In response church warden Sally Morris said: “We’re asking people who live nearby to stay alert and report anything suspicious to us immediately.

“Even if it is a man on a ladder during the daytime, we’d prefer to turn up and find out it is a workman than not to know at all.

“It is important we get the help because, like other churches, we are being targeted and every time we are it costs more money.”

St Andrew’s Church, in Broughton, was also targeted for lead at the end of March.

Warden Peter Horrix said: “We are also asking the neighbours to keep an eye out.

“We are surrounded by houses and we depend on the residents to report anything suspicious.”

Ss Peter and Paul’s Church, in Kettering, has not been targeted for a couple of years.

Rev Dominic Barrington said: “Our greatest protection is probably the fact we have a police station next door.”

In December, the Evening Telegraph did a survey of 23 churches to find just three had escaped any theft of metal.

Yesterday, Crimestoppers launched a video showing its work to tackle metal thieves and to encourage the public to play its part in giving information on the crime.