National Rural Crime Network survey

Police at churchSadly, our beautiful places of worship are sometimes victims of crime.

Thanks to the many dedicated organisations helping to care for and support places of worship much progress has been made in keeping heritage crime, including attacks on places on worship, on the national police agenda. However, we need to keep up the good work.

In response to concerns from people living and working in rural areas, the National Rural Crime Network is launching the biggest ever survey of rural policing and crime, and we hope that the results will provide evidence to support our pressure to make places of worship as great a priority as farm theft and other issues with which the police are more familiar.

The National Rural Crime Network survey has received Home Office funding to undertake the rural crime and policing survey. The on-line survey will run for about five weeks and it is hoped that the findings will help shape and inform:

  • awareness of crime in rural areas
  • appropriate crime prevention
  • government policy
  • policing and partnership activities

The survey provides an opportunity to raise public awareness of crime and anti-social behaviour within the historic environment and to provide data to  help the police to integrate heritage crime into their core business and working practices. Although it is a national project and clearly not aimed specifically at places of worship it does give everyone the chance to make their case and it would be good if the places of worship perspective could be well represented in responses.

If you care for a place of worship in a rural area, please consider taking part in the survey:


For more information about security and personal safety in places of worship please explore our new website Resource Centre.

And for some recent good news from the Churches Conservation Trust, showing that stolen items can indeed be recovered by Police if they have enough information.

Scrap Metal Dealers Bill will help stop church metal thefts

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust has welcomed the passage of the Report Stage and the Third Reading of the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill.

Claire Walker  said: “The National Churches Trust welcomes the passage of the Report Stage and Third Reading of the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill in the House of Commons today, 9 November 2012. It was gratifying to see cross party support for the Bill and the incorporation of sensible amendments which will strengthen the effectiveness of the legislation. I am sure that churches of all denominations throughout the country are grateful to Richard Ottoway MP for introducing his Private Members Bill and for working so hard to ensure its support by MPs on all sides of the House of Commons. ”

“The cost of replacing lead roofing can be crippling for places of worship. Although the incidence of metal theft from churches has fallen over the past few months, the National Churches Trust is still receiving many requests for funding to replace and repair roofs affected by metal theft.  The Scrap Metal Dealers Bill will help local authorities to crack down effectively on unlicensed metal dealers and  aid the police as they seek to deal with the criminals involved in the theft of lead and other metals from churches.  We look forward to the Bill completing its passage through Parliament and becoming law and implemented as soon as possible.”

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