Communities urged to help stop lead thefts

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Police are calling on local communities to be vigilant and help prevent the theft of lead from churches.

Last summer St Mary’s Church in Dalham was one of a number targeted by thieves across Suffolk.

Parishioners were left “devastated and sick at heart” after the theft which left them with a repair bill of up to £100,000.

All police intelligence linked to metal thefts is shared with neighbouring counties and at both a regional and national level.

Rural churches are often targeted because of their isolated locations so members of the public are being urged to report any suspicious activity they see.

Stealing a large amount of lead takes time and a reasonably large vehicle to transport it, so any early reports will assist police in locating offenders.

Chief Inspector Sarah Shrubshall said: “Communities can act as our eyes and ears, and by pulling together to note suspicious activity, we can deter thieves from committing these damaging crimes.”