Police forces to work together to target lead thieves

Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt

Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Norfolk and Suffolk police say they are working with neighbouring forces to tackle church lead thefts carried out by 'highly organised criminal gangs'.

A surge in thefts has affected more than 40 churches across the counties over the past two years, with the EDP, the sister paper of The Journal, organising a £26,000 reward fund for anyone who gives information leading to an arrest and conviction.

But churches in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire are also being hit, prompting police forces to work together to stop the crimes, which have become so lucrative that roof raiders are thought to be using drones and Google Earth to source targets.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: 'Police in the county are looking at the bigger picture and liaising with other forces. This is a national issue and we are working closely with constabularies throughout the eastern region.'

Earlier this year, after 10 tons of lead worth £40,000 were stolen from a church in Northamptonshire, a conference was organised by Sergeant Sam Dobbs, from Daventry, who said European 'highly organised gangs' were behind the thefts of lead.

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