Churches target thieves

Published January 2, 2008

Churches in the east of England are taking measures to prevent theft of the metal from their roofs. Anglican churches in the area made more than 270 claims in 2007 totalling £900,000 ($1.3 million Cdn.), reports the BBC News.

Thieves, who also target school roofs and power lines, have been stealing the lead from church roofs, flashing and copper piping, and lightning conductors.

As a response to the thefts, churches are introducing SmartWater which is painted on items and glows under ultra-violet lamps identifying the owner. The chemical will be painted on roofs and in some cases spraying systems will be installed inside the churches to douse thieves.

Nationally, Ecclesiastical Insurance, an insurance company specializing in church properties, received more than 1,800 claims from Anglican churches last year at a cost of nearly £5.8 million ($8.6 million) for the theft mainly of lead from roofs.


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