Bid to stop criminals targeting York’s rich heritage

26 February 2016.......   the Yorkshire Museum York.  Picture Tony Johnson
26 February 2016....... the Yorkshire Museum York. Picture Tony Johnson
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A new initiative aimed at protecting York’s historic assets from criminals is being launched in the city next week.

York Heritage Watch, which will be chaired by former senior police officer John Minary, will be officially unveiled at the Yorkshire Museum.

York is a magnet for visitors from around the world to keen to absorb the city’s rich heritage, and it is the heritage assets that this group is aiming to protect.

John Minary

The scheme was started after a “burglar’s tool kit” was found within the grounds of the Stained Glass Centre, a venue dedicated to the study of stained glass based in the Grade I listed St Martin-cum-Gregory building.

Mr Minary said: “York is a magnet for visitors from around the world to keen to absorb the city’s rich heritage, and it is the heritage assets that this group is aiming to protect.

“Heritage crime is a problem in both urban and rural areas, with nationally important heritage assets being at risk from damage and theft - particularly metal theft. And because police resources are more stretched than ever before, they need the public to be their eyes and ears on the ground, in towns, cities and in the countryside.

“York Heritage Watch will provide a hands on platform for the local heritage community to come together to help each other, talk to each other, share news and best practice and improve safety for their sites, their visitors and their hard working staff.”

Heritage crime is described as “any offence which harms the value of England’s heritage assets and their settings to this and future generations”.

Those attending the launch event on Tuesday include senior officers from North Yorkshire Police and representatives from local and national organisations, including Historic England.