According to a news report in the Independent, stealing lead from the rooftops of historic churches has become a lucrative operation for organised criminals who, in some instances, may use Google Earth and drones to review targeted churches. The high-technology equipment makes it easier for the thieves to remove tonnes of the metal, which is usually worth tens of thousands of pounds.
Lead Theft Is a Growing Concern
Because of the thefts, over 200 churches have been victimised by thieves. English Heritage guidelines make it clear that like-for-like replacement of lead roofs is important for preservation purposes. That is why roofers in Derbyshire who restore the lead to church roofs understand the need for preserving the historical characteristics of such properties as National Trust buildings, churches, and listed buildings.
Only the Finest in Materials Is Used
When lead is stolen from a church roof, the building becomes vulnerable to weather damage and burglary. A roofer who has experience in replacing the lead of church roofs then tailors his or her services to the mandates of churches and listed buildings. Materials of the finest quality are used to replace or repair the roofs of historical churches.
Performing a Risk Assessment
In order to prevent the theft of lead from church roofs, it is essential to understand why the lead is stolen. Usually, the metal is stripped for its asset value and vulnerability. To address these two factors, a risk assessment should be made of a building. Some of the questions you need to ask include:
- How easy is it for a thief or thieves to access or climb onto the roof?
- Are there items or ladders that can be used to climb upon a roof?
- Is security lighting installed?
- Are video cameras used?
Raising Community Awareness
The plan to deter a theft is to ensure that the activity is not worth the effort. Getting the news out about lead theft is also important. When a community is aware of a problem, they tend to be less complacent. If you post bulletins or posters, the awareness of a possible problem is raised, which keeps the lead where it belongs.