Village church is hit by lead thieves

Church warden Peter Horrix with Chief Constable Adrian Lee and PCSOs Margaret Lawson and Jason Parish
Church warden Peter Horrix with Chief Constable Adrian Lee and PCSOs Margaret Lawson and Jason Parish

A village church was targeted by lead thieves as police launched a crackdown on stolen metal.

Officers visited St Andrew’s Church in Broughton yesterday morning after the church fell victim to thieves some time between Monday morning and Wednesday morning.

Church warden Peter Horrix said he had gone with others to open up the church on Wednesday for a Lent service and discovered water gushing through the roof where the lead had been taken.

He said: “It’s a 13th century building, it just makes you feel sorry. Everyone is very upset. Houses being burgled is almost a routine thing but when the church gets hit, it’s really right at the bottom of the list of low things to do.”

Mr Horrix was visited at the church by two PCSOs and Northamptonshire Police’s Chief Constable Adrian Lee yesterday as the force carried out a high-impact day under its new Operation Silver Fox.

Mr Lee said the force was focusing its attentions on metal thefts because, as in the case of St Andrew’s Church, the effects of the thefts were felt by many. He said: “Metal theft represents just under two per cent of crime in Northamptonshire but it’s the number of victims and people who are affected.”

Yesterday officers visited addresses in Rothwell and Desborough of people suspected of being involved in metal theft and visited EMR, a scrap yard in Pytchley Lodge Road, Kettering, to check the firm was carrying out its legal obligations.

Shawn Davis, who was dropping off scrap metal at EMR yesterday, said: “I think it’s good the police have visited, I think they should definitely keep an eye on metal thefts.”