Churches ward off lead theft with scheme
A scheme to combat lead theft from churches is paying off.
Since Church Watch was set up in Rutland a year ago, there has not been a single lead theft from a church, say police.
The scheme encourages people living close to churches to look out for suspicious activity.
Rutland had eight incidents in the previous two years.
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Police visited every church in the county to carry out a risk assessment and give crime prevention advice.
They also added every church to the community messaging system, Neighbourhood Link, to send up-to-date, localised crime prevention advice and warnings about suspicious activity in the area.
Pc Paul Le Pla, who set up the scheme, said: "I am delighted we haven't had any lead thefts from church roofs in Rutland for more than a year.
"I am convinced this is due in part to the vigilance of people living and working around our places of worship."
Rural Dean of Rutland, Canon Lee Francis-Dehqani, said; "We are very pleased with the progress of this partnership between the churches and our police. The community in Rutland have really rallied behind this initiative."
The scheme is also being used in Melton and Blaby.