|Police Crackdown on Lead Thieves|
Tackling the increase in lead theft from churches and old buildings
On Monday 11th April 2011 Ealing Police and Ealing's Community Safety Team joined forces with local churches to reduce theft of lead and other metals. In recent months parts of Ealing have seen an increase in metal theft with churches proving popular targets for thieves.
Ealing Broadway Safer Neighbourhood Team led the initiative to reduce these offences by conducting a visual survey of residential streets and identifying church premises which may be vulnerable. London Borough of Ealing's Community Safety Team supplied over 100 SmartWater kits for use by residents on small areas of lead. These were handed out to victims of theft and to premises identified as at risk during the visual survey.
The Community Safety Team also supplied 10 SelectaDNA grease kits and signage. These work in a similar way to Smartwater and can help trace stolen property back to a specific crime, increasing the likelihood of prosecution for both thieves and handlers. This grease is specifically designed for marking large areas of metal and can also be seen under UV light.
Representatives from Ealing Abbey, Kingsdown Methodist Church and the International Presbyterian Church in Drayton Green were presented with the marking kits by DI Mick Gornall and Joyce from Ealing Community Safety Team. These premises and seven others across the Ealing area will be marking property to prevent their premises being targeted by thieves.
James Rawlinson from Ealing Police said "We hope this initiative will protect these churches from thefts and are very grateful to Ealing council for supplying the marking kits. The churches are all keen to prevent thefts, one reported that a theft earlier this year cost them over £10,000 to replace and repair the stolen lead. These offences can have a significant impact and we are keen to reduce them further. Marking metals with suitable products increases the risks of prosecution for thieves and handlers alike and we hope this scheme will discourage thefts in future".
13 April 2011