Roof alarms installed to deter church lead thefts

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SEVERAL churches in the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds have had roof alarms fitted to stop criminals stealing lead.

Church insurer Ecclesiastical is investing £500,000 to install roof alarms free of charge on some of the most at-risk churches.

All churches in the Ripon and Leeds areas will soon display warning signs about the presence of roof alarms – but only some will actually have them.

Because the alarm sensors are virtually undetectable from the ground, criminals will be unable to tell which are alarmed.

The campaign will be rolled out to other dioceses throughout this year.

So far only three areas have benefited – Ripon and Leeds, Peterborough and St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

John Coates, of Ecclesiastical, said: “Our aim is to encourage all vulnerable churches across Britain to have roof alarms fitted.”

Last year Ripon and Leeds had more than 50 claims for metal theft, costing over £60,000.