Church Watch Newsletter

Alert message sent 15/10/2020 14:26:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

This is a Wiltshire Church Watch newsletter sent from Wiltshire Police.
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Recent Incidents and Crime  - Church related crimes throughout Wiltshire
Date and Time
Crime Reference

18/09/2020 23:59
Unknown person/s have entered the church through a very small window which they have forced open. Once inside they have forced an internal door. Entered another office and taken a TV. To exit the fire exit has been used.

23/09/2020 23:59
Unknown suspect(s) have stolen the memorial plaque from the grave of a well known person.

01/10/2020 00:01 - 10/10/2020 14:00
Unknown suspect(s) has gone into a church, smashed vodka bottles and burnt candles near to the alter. They have left cigarette butts, filter tip and pistachio nut shells on the floor. They have also gone into the children's area and taken the chalk to draw symbols and write lewd comments around the church and smashed up tables/pews.

Odstock Salisbury
08/10/2020 18:00
Unknown suspect has broken into the Church by forcing the main front door. An untidy search was carried out. There was no damage to the door and nothing was stolen.

Broadchalke Salisbury
08/10/2020 16:15 – 11/10/20 17:00
Unknown suspect(s) has broken a window at the rear of a church in order to remove the pane below and gained entry to the vestry through that hole. Once inside and untidy search has been carried out with leaflets and keys and a money bag strewn about. The key to the village hall has been stolen.

Britford, Salisbury
06/10/2020 18:00
Unknown suspect has been inside the Church that was unlocked and open to the public. The suspect has caused damage to a large tombstone inside the church, breaking a large section off into 3 pieces.  The pieces were then hidden behind the high altar.  Also 3 wooden plaques that were on the wall behind the altar were removed from the wall and laid on altar with of string on them.

Crime Prevention Advice
A SPATE of break-ins has taken place at three churches across Salisbury… St Mary’s Church in Odstock, All Saint’s Church in Harnham and All Saints Church in Broad Chalke were all  targeted, and it is believed that the incidents took place between October 8 and 11. Police say that in each case, the burglar conducted a messy search, throwing leaflets and money bags about and damaging windows and doors to gain entry.
Keep your Church Safe
Ensure that any high value items are marked with a property marking product such as SmartWater, SelectaDNA etc
EXTERNAL SIGNAGE: Signage advising of the use of your chosen property marking product should be displayed prominently outside of the building to act as a deterrent.

REGISTRATION: You must register the use of your product on the appropriate company’s system although a fee may apply (Ecclesiastical pay the SmartWater registration cost for you).

APPLICATION: It is not prescriptive where exactly you should apply the property-marking solution, however you should place it in as many different places as it is safe to do so e.g. metal downpipe, lead on the roof, gates and railing etc. Make sure you record where you have applied the solution, preferably in the PCC meeting records.

         ROOF ALARMS
If your church is in a high-risk area or has a large amount of lead on its roof, consider installing an approved monitored roof alarm so that the building can be considered for unlimited insurance cover.
Take and store photos of any valuable items in the building as well as a description of any distinguishing features. Record any serial numbers if appropriate.

Make external access to the roof difficult by removing any climbing aids such as ladders, bins, water butts etc.

Do regular checks of any metal roofs, gutters, downpipes etc. regularly so any theft is detected quickly.

Consider installing security lighting at roof level for visibility
Message sent by
Tracy Ince (Police, Watch Coordinator, HQ)

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