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Police ask for the public's help to tackle lead thefts in the Stamford and Bourne areas

Following a number of lead thefts across the Stamford and Bourne areas, police are calling on members of the public to help them tackle the issue.

Over the last 6 weeks, 10 churches have reported thefts, including Tallington, Swinstead, Haconby, Stoke Rochford, Skillington and North Witham.

Sally Picker from Lincolnshire Police’s Crime Prevention Team, said:

“Sometimes it is difficult to see that lead is missing and unfortunately some churches only notice when it has rained.

"There are however some key things to look out for and residents can play a big part in helping us prevent these crimes.

“If you do live near a church and hear dull thudding noises, it could be lead being dropped from the church roof.

"Another giveaway that lead has been stripped from a roof is if you see divots in the grass around a church or on gravel pathways.

"If you spot either of these signs, please call us on 101 immediately.

“There are measures that can be taken to significantly reduce the vulnerability of our beautiful churches and our Crime Reduction Tactical Advisors are available to visit and make recommendations.

"Please call me on 07867936487 or email sally.picker@lincs.pnn.police.uk for further advice.”

Lead theft can cost churches tens of thousands of pounds and can mean that rainwater gets into a church and damages the interior.

The police are asking for the support of local residents and especially people who live close enough to be able to see their church.

They would like reports of any suspicious activity, unusual vehicles or behaviour in the vicinity of a church please call 101 quoting ‘Operation Brompton 2’.

People are advised not to take risks though in getting information.

Measures which could be taken to increase security include:

-Installing a roof alarm;

-Making sure that gates cannot be lifted from their hinges, and ensure they are locked at night;

-Keeping trees well pruned, with branches taken up to around 2.5m to help with natural surveillance;

-Making regular checks of the roof;

-Securing wheelie bins so they cannot be used to drag lead to a vehicle

-Ensuring any tools and machinery in outbuildings are securely locked and properly marked;

-Taking professional advice about lighting for the church and churchyard

-Cutting back foliage around church doors.

Anyone with information about the lead thefts should contact Lincolnshire Police on 101.

If a crime is in progress, call 999.

You can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111.

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