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Launch of East Anglian church crime fighting plan

PUBLISHED: 06:22 13 October 2015

Thieves have stolen thousands of pounds worth of lead from the roof of Harpley Church. Pictured in the church grounds are Rev James Nash with PC Kirsty Grand. Picture: Ian Burt

Thieves have stolen thousands of pounds worth of lead from the roof of Harpley Church. Pictured in the church grounds are Rev James Nash with PC Kirsty Grand. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant

An action plan aimed at combating lead thieves intent on stripping bare East Anglian churches is to be launched today.

Lead thefts have more than doubled year-on-year in the Norfolk, Ely and St Edmundsbury dioceses, with about 11 incidents in 2013 and about 25 last year.

But today a crime-fighting plan is being launched to help prevent future thefts in East Anglia with the Church of England in Suffolk and the county’s police force working together to produce a church security document to support parishes, containing self-assessment forms to see how good or bad the building’s security is.

The security assessment highlights options and offers security suggestions to implement.

The document, which will be launched during an event at Combs parish church, near Stowmarket, at 2pm today, includes contact details of crime reduction officers who are available to offer further detailed advice.

It will be made widely available to all Church of England PCCs in the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich diocese, which covers most of Suffolk from this week.

Bishop Martin Seeley and Suffolk Constabulary’s assistant chief constable Rachel Kearton will be among those present at the launch event.

Have you got a crime story? Email crime correspondent Peter walsh at peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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