Church Watch Bi-Monthly Newsletter

Alert message sent 28/01/2021 11:29:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

Date and Time
Crime Reference

09/12/2020 16:00
Unknown offender/s have entered the cemetery grounds, smashed paving stones left by a chapel and picked up stones and thrown them through stained glass chapel windows, smashing the glass.
Value of damage - TVO £150.

10/12/2020 19:00
Operation Apollo: Unknown Suspect(s) have painted in white spray paint "Satan rules C of E via Gov" on doors to church. The paint has been partially removed, but further cleaning may damage the woodwork. The doors are 800 yrs old. RP states this would be deeply offensive to the members of the parish.

05/12/2020 00:01
Unknown year 11 pupil from Avon Valley College is jumping on graves in Bulford Cemetery at the weekends. This was recorded on social media

17/12/2020 16:00
Op Apollo - Unknown suspects have gained entry to the premises overnight and been digging 2” holes deep, placing the turf back on top around the south side of bailey using metal detectors.

16/01/2021 15:00
Unknown suspect/s have broken into parish garden by unknown means and have damaged a gravestone and a stone seat.

Crime Prevention Advice for Churches.
Here are some simple steps that you can take to help protect your church from crime.
Lock your church after dark unless there is a service or someone present
Keep keys safe with an official or in a secure place away from the church. Maintain a list of keyholders
Protect high-value items. Secure items to the floor or wall or replace items with cheaper alternatives when services are not taking place
Lock away valuables and money. Keep money, silver, brass and pewter items in a safe or secure area such as the vestry or a church officer's home
Protecting church treasures
There are many things that you can do to make your church treasures more secure so that they can be enjoyed by all:
Get a safe
Keep keys safe
Install an intruder alarm
Secure objects to the walls
Look into getting display cases
Keep your inventory up-to-date and take photographs
Use forensic marking
Encourage local vigilance
Minimise the risk of arson
Don’t make your church an easy target
Restrict vehicle access to the building using gates, fences and bollards.
Work with your local police force.
Ask your community to be vigilant in reporting any suspicious behaviour.
Deter thieves using security lights, CCTV and by cutting back any trees/plants which could hide criminal activity.
Take extra care while any building works are in progress – scaffolding, building equipment and ladders left around the church will make life easier for thieves.  
Use a forensic security marking system to mark your metal and display the signs as a visual deterrent. 
Invest in a roof alarm, they can be extremely effective.

Message sent by
Tracy Ince (Police, Watch Coordinator, HQ)

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