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St Margaret’s Church in Witton near North Walsham the latest to be targeted by lead thieves

PUBLISHED: 19:58 06 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:27 08 May 2017

St Margaret's Church at Witton which has been targeted by lead thieves. Picture: RICHARD BARR.

St Margaret's Church at Witton which has been targeted by lead thieves. Picture: RICHARD BARR.

Archant

A village church near North Walsham is the latest victim of lead thieves.

Police are appealing for information after lead was stolen from a church roof in Witton near North Walsham.

Thieves targeted St Margaret’s Church between midnight and 5am on Saturday, May 6 and stole a large quantity of lead.

Officers would like to hear from anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity between the times stated to contact them.

More than 40 churches in Norfolk and Suffolk have been targeted by lead thieves in recent years.

Thieves stripped up to six tons of lead from the roof of a church in St Mary’s Church in Baconsthorpe, near Holt, just hours before a funeral service, and then returned to complete the job last month. The culprits, who caused approximately £40,000 worth of damage, first struck in the early hours of the morning on March 3 and then again sometime between Wednesday and Friday, April 26 and 28.

And St John the Baptist Church in Coltishall was also hit last month.

The EDP has been campaigning to stop roof raiders destroying our sacred church heritage.

Along with our sister paper the East Anglian Daily Times, we announced a substantial reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who target churches in the region.

And we also called on members of the public to do their bit in the fight against the ongoing problem.

We published posters for people to put up across Norfolk and Suffolk warning thieves that the community is watching.

The campaign has been backed by church leaders including the Bishop of Norwich and Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and Norfolk and Suffolk’s police and crime commissioners.

Various businesses and individuals also pledged money to the campaign.

Anyone who may have any information about the Witton incident should contact North Walsham Police Station on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via their anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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