LEAD, copper and iron thefts are blighting people’s lives.
With rising prices for all three thieves are stooping to new depths to steal from churches and homes to sell their haul on for some quick cash.
Churches all over the Huddersfield area, from Lindley to Meltham, have been targeted by thieves stealing lead.
They have also taken lead flashing from bay windows at homes, with Marsh and Lindley being the hardest-hit areas.
We are looking closely at scrapyards and going through their books, where everything they buy should be written down in detail.
Thieves have also been raiding empty houses to steal boilers.
Two men were arrested in Newsome on Wednesday on suspicion of stealing a boiler in the area.
One specialist church insurer says claims related to church lead theft increased by 86% last year. Also, the recent metal theft spree could push the left of lead to its highest ever level.
Congregational And General Insurance has a Church Alert lead theft prevention scheme, put together in consultation with Crimestoppers.
It says it is not just the initial act of lead theft, but the knock-on effect of water damage to church interiors because of leaks that often go unnoticed and can cause serious damage.
The insurer has received some claims approaching £100,000.
Following close consultation with Crimestoppers Congregational’s Church Alert www.churchalert.co.uk website offers top tips and best practice on how to lessen the risk of lead theft.
Managing director Carlo Cavaliere said: “Prevention is better than cure and our campaign should help all our church policyholders to minimise their risk of becoming the latest victims of this fast-growing problem, even if they don’t personally feel their church is at risk.
“While we want to galvanise churches into action we are also acutely aware that the church buildings that cover the UK are often seen as a focal point for the local community.
“We would encourage everyone, whether they attend a church or not, to keep their eyes open and report suspicious behaviour immediately.”
The police echo that. If you see someone on a church roof they might be stealing it.