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Lead thieves target churches in Rutland

By Mercury reporter

Police have launched an appeal for witnesses after a recent bout of lead thefts from church roofs in Rutland.

Last week three churches were hit; Edith Weston, Hambleton and Empingham, and in the past three weeks more churches have been attacked; Whitwell (twice),Glaston, and Tinwell (twice).

Sergeant Darren Richardson from the Rutland Neighbourhood Team said: "All reports of lead theft are thoroughly investigated and all lines of enquiry will be pursued in relation to crime.

"Through our dedicated Heritage Watch scheme we work closely with chrch wardens across Rutland and help them with crime prevention advice and how to make their premises safe.

"We have increased police patrols in Rutland and the surrounding areas and continue to speak to local people about the importance of remaining vigilant and ask the public to report any suspicious activity to us immediately."

Adrian Gombault, one of the directors of Rutland Neighbourhood Watch said: "Rutland is a current target and it seems like it is one church after another being targeted. We in the Neighbourhood Watch are doing what we can, and I know there is a shortage of police in Rutland, but the police need to taker action.

"The impact of these lead thefts is devastating, not just for the churches themselves, but for all the community groups which use them.

"Our free Rutland Neighbourhood Watch app draws instant attention to the latest crime reports and we'd urge members of the public to download it and use it to report any time they say any suspicious activity around our churches."

The App can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play; read more about the app on page 19.

Anyone who has any information in relation to any of the lead thefts should call 101 and report it. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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