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Post Magazine

Metal theft falls to lowest level in six years - but funding could be withdrawn

A parliamentary group aimed at combating metal theft has called for a renewed commitment to funding, despite insurer figures showing that theft from churches has fallen to its lowest level since 2006.

In figures released this week, Ecclesiastical recorded more than 930 metal theft claims from Anglican churches in 2012, in contrast to 2600 claims in 2011 - the worst year on record.

Ecclesiastical, which claims to insure 96% of the UK's Anglican churches, said that the cost of claims fell to £1.8m in 2012, down from nearly £4.5m in 2011.

British Transport Police figures show that the number of monthly recorded cable or copper theft crimes on the railways peaked at 318 in March 2011 and has been exhibiting a downward trend ever since. The latest data shows that these crimes had fallen to 73 by December 2012.

John Coates, Ecclesiastical director of church insurance, said: "There are still areas in the country where metal theft incidents are far too frequent.

"For example, according to our claims statistics, the worst affected areas for church metal theft in 2012 were the Salisbury, Chelmsford, Winchester, Chichester and Birmingham dioceses.

"Even though the numbers are pointing in the right direction, it's going to take a concerted effort for years to come from businesses, politicians and law enforcement agencies to ensure that our heritage is safe from these heartless, predatory criminals."

It is difficult to pinpoint the reason for the results, but theft levels have tended to follow the peaks and troughs of the global trading price of copper.

Despite efforts to stamp out metal theft, observers have claimed that there is still a lack of co-ordination in tackling the problem.

As well as MP Richard Ottaway's Scrap Metal Dealers Bill, currently in the House of Lords, the government introduced a ban on cash payments for scrap metal last December and awarded £5m in funding to the BTP for the creation of the National Metal Theft Taskforce in November 2011.

The money funded local authority-led campaigns, including Operation Tornado and a national day of action against metal theft, as well as a full-time member of BTP to co-ordinate the efforts.

Detective Superintendent John McBride held that position until this month when he became BTP's superintendent operations for Scotland.

He has been succeeded by Detective Superintendent Alison Evans. Deputy Chief Constable Paul Crowther continues to be Association of Chief Police Officers lead on conductive metal theft across England and Wales.

Funding future


The Department for Transport's £5m fund to support BTP in tackling metal theft is due to run out in March, and a Home Office spokesman told Post that it is considering an application for further funding for 2013 to 2014, adding that a decision will be made "in the next few weeks".

However, a well-placed Whitehall source told Post that the funding is "unlikely to be repeated" given government cuts, explaining that the funding for the National Metal Theft Taskforce had come from a "surplus" in the Home Office pot.

MP Richard Ottaway told Post that this was "disappointing" news, adding: "If there is one thing that we have learnt from the Taskforce, it is that a little money - with a lot of will - goes a long way.

"With my Bill on the cusp of making it onto the statute book, the motivation is there for Police Crime Commissioners to continue to prioritise the fight against metal theft with the full and uncompromising force of the law."

Last week, members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Combating Metal Theft raised concerns over the force's funding.

Member Tim Field, head of public affairs at the Energy Networks Association, told Post that the group "felt the force had delivered huge value for money".

He added: "It is the group's view that the force must continue and funding must be found to support it, especially as the funding will run out before the Bill is introduced."

The House of Lords is expected to make minor amendments to the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill on 18 January in its committee stage, before it progresses to a third reading. The Bill is expected to gain Royal Assent in April.

Last February, Ecclesiastical launched its Hands Off Our Church Roofs campaign. As well as raising awareness of the problem, the insurer fitted electronic alarm systems to the roofs of churches free of charge.

One Chelmsford church, St Mary's Prittlewell, was targeted 14 times by metal thieves in 18 months before installing an alarm system.

The insurer, which spent £500 000 on installing the alarms, believes that the campaign has had an impact on claims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E-Bound News Archive

Ecclesiastical up cover on protected roofs

Summary of revised limits

Revised theft or attempted theft of external metal limits and limits for the subsequent damage arising as a result of a theft or attempted theft of external metal

Item

The limits shown are in respect of any one period of insurance

Current standard Parishguard policy

Revised
standard
Parishguard
policy

1.

SmartWater condition complied with

 

 

 

Theft or attempted theft of external metal

£5,000

£7,500

 

Subsequent damage

£5,000

£7,500

2.

Roof alarm and SmartWater conditions complied with

 

 

 

Theft or attempted theft of external metal

£10,000

£25,000

 

Subsequent damage

£10,000

£25,000

3.

Where a church has scaffolding - roof alarm and SmartWater conditions and
suitable agreed security conditions complied with

 

 

 

Theft or attempted theft of external metal

£0

£25,000

 

Subsequent damage

£0

£25,000

Notes:-

A. SmartWater condition

  • The external metal of the buildings has been protected with SmartWater or an alternative approved forensic marking system.Displayed the associated signage in a prominent position.

  • Registered the use of the system with SmartWater Technology Limited or an alternative provider.

  • If a church fails to comply with this condition this will invalidate the insurance in respect of theft or attempted theft of external metal and the subsequent damage.

B. Roof Alarm condition

  • An Ecclesiastical approved and monitored roof alarm system that is subject to an annual maintenance agreement.

  • Alarm set at all times unless otherwise agreed with us.

  • All keys and codes for the alarms removed from the premises when it is closed or unoccupied.

  • Two key holders appointed with details lodged with the Police and alarm company.

  • Ecclesiastical notified if the Police provide notice that the alarm will be ignored.

  • Key holder attends as soon as possible upon activation of the alarm.

If a church fails to comply with this condition this will invalidate the increased limits provided

C. Scaffolding and Other Security Measures

  • Churches should contact Ecclesiastical directly to discuss their own particular circumstances

Lead theft on the rise

Lead thefts have been on the rise again recently. Churches with lead roofs should consider installing a roof security system approved by their insurers. Such systems have been shown to reduce the likelihood of theft to almost zero. They do not require a faculty (they are on "List B") and cost as little as £2,500. For more information contact your insurance company - EIG's web link is below. Once your proposal is ready, send it to the DAC office for approval by the Archdeacon.

Ecclesiastical roof security

Ebound roof alarm system thwarts theft at St Peter's - Bolton 08/07/14

An E-Bound roof alarm was activated on Tuesday the 8th July 2014 at 15.47 and again at 16.00 hours.  Our ARC (Alarm Receiving Centre) contacted the church who then notified the police. The thieves were caught whilst trying to make their escape.

This is another example of a theft attempt prevented by our alarm system.  You will notice by the times of activation that these intruders are getting more and more brazen, trying during broad daylight.  Having a roof alarm could save a lot of heartache should intruders manage to access your church roof. It is not the cost of the lead or other material that they steal that causes the biggest problems for the church; it is the damage that they do whilst attempting to steal from you.  Should you not spot a theft right away, it could be when your roof is leaking before you notice, by which time the damage is far worse than it might have been.  Act now, protect your church – call or email for details.

 

New Leasing Option For Churches Available

Raising funds for an alarm system can be difficult and this is why we have created a scheme whereby you can have the protection you need now and pay for it over time.  Asset finance is a very flexible way of raising funds and the advantages include enabling the church to preserve precious cash reserves and offers the flexibility of the repayment period being matched to the budget.  In addition, we can structure the lease to include additional benefits such as servicing of equipment, meaning there will be no capital outlay, save for the monthly payments for the first two years.  In short, it means you will be able to make the decisions to protect the roof of the church based upon your needs and not limited by constrained budgets. Contact us for more information

Ecclesiastical Insurance scoops prestigious awards for its ‘Hands Off Our Church Roofs!’ campaign

Since the start of 2007 leading church insurer, Ecclesiastical has received over 11,000 theft of metal claims from churches, costing more than £28 million.

At the end of 2011 we decided that “enough was enough” and invested £500,000 in a programme to install E-Bound roof alarms, on some of the UK’s most vulnerable churches. Under a simple campaign banner, ‘Hands off our church roofs!’ Ecclesiastical worked with E-Bound to install the alarms and then encouraged other churches to visit and see for themselves how effective a roof alarm could be.

The ultimate aim of the campaign was to significantly reduce the occurrence of metal thefts from churches across England, Scotland and Wales and while the campaign did not prevent all of the alarmed churches being targeted by thieves, their attempts were foiled by the presence of the alarms.

Since the campaign’s official launch in March 2012, Ecclesiastical has seen theft of metal claims fall dramatically and this success was recognised recently by the British Insurance Awards judging panel, when Ecclesiastical won the prestigious BIA ‘Risk Management’ award’. Our ‘Hands off our church roofs!’ campaign has also won ‘the Most Effective Integrated B2B Campaign’ award at the Financial Services Forum awards and we have also been shortlisted for the Chartered Insurance Institute ‘Best Campaign In The Public Interest’ award.

All this shows what can be achieved when parties with a common goal work together.

 

Suffolk and Essex church thefts


Fellow Mark Harrison, National Policing and Crime Adviser with English Heritage, reports that there have been a number of thefts from churches in the Essex and Suffolk recently, and asks Fellows in East Anglia with responsibility for church security to be extra vigilant. The thefts include a 4ft wooden angel from St Bartholomew’s Church in Wickham Bishops, a statue of the Virgin from St Mary and St Margaret, Stow Maries, an engraved wooden crucifix and bible stand from All Saints, Purleigh, a brass ceremonial cross from St Mary’s, Bures, and a ciborium and two pyxes from St Peter’s, Goldhanger, the former engraved in memory of Hilda Price and Francis Page.

British Insurance Industry Awards

E-Bound customer, Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc shone at the British Insurance Industry Awards on the 3rd July when they won the award for the Risk Management Initiative of the Year for their Hands Off Our Church Roofs campaign.

The awards, the industry’s leading benchmark for excellence, were presented at the Royal Albert Hall.

Mark Hews and Mike Hayward collected the Risk Management award for their Hands Off Our Church Roofs campaign. Hands Off Our Church Roofs was launched to address the ongoing problem of metal theft from churches. E-Bound roof alarms were installed free of charge on a number of vulnerable churches throughout England, Scotland and Wales and other churches were invited to see the alarm in operation. The aim was to significantly reduce the number of metal theft claims.  To date there are nearly 500 alarms now in place across the country and the number of metal theft claims from churches fell by 64% and the costs by 60% in 2012.

 

E-Bound Aired on ITV NEWS - 17th June 2013

Thieves target the metal and lead from churches Photo: ITV News Anglia

A group of parishioners have turned to a company in Peterborough to help them in the fight against metal thieves.

Figures show that an average of 7 churches are being targeted every night.

Now hundreds of parishes have turned to a company in Peterborough to install an alarm that's become known as the "voice" of God.

Read Complete Article

An average of seven churches a night are attacked by metal thieves, who target gutters, railings, plaques and other items.

Click Here to Watch the Report

— http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17148442, BBC

 

Nick Cooke Jan 1st - 1968 - June 11th 2013

Nick Cooke

 

 

 

“We are saddened to announce the death of Nick Cooke who passed away suddenly during the morning of 11th June.  We know you will join us in offering his family and friends our sincerest condolences during this sad time.   E-Bound is a very close knit team and we will all miss him as a work colleague and friend after his years of loyal service to this company”. 

 

 

 

Trustees Tour 2013

Loyd Grossman, Chairman of The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), together with Trustees, visited nine of the Trust’s historic churches in the South East of England between May 22nd and 23rd. Loyd and the Trustees met local Friends groups and volunteers, who are working throughout Norfolk and Suffolk with the CCT, to create new partnerships and, once again, to bring these churches into the heart of each community. Read Article

Insurance Times

Metal theft drops in 2012: Ecclesiastical

Description: Pensions Insight

Cost drops from £4.5m to £1.8m

Ecclesiastical has noted a drop in the cost and number of metal theft claims in 2012, compared to 2011.

The insurer said that it registered about 930 such claims from Anglican churches last year, worth £1.8m. In 2011, Ecclesiastical recorded more than 2,600 claims, worth almost £4.5m.

In a statement, the insurer said that the decrease could be the result of government efforts to tackle the crime, as well as tougher measures by transport and utilities companies. Ecclesiastical also supplied church roof alarms to many buildings to prevent lead theft from roofs.

Ecclesiastical director of church insurance John Coates said: “These figures are hugely encouraging but it would be premature to predict the end of the epidemic of metal theft. Nine hundred and thirty claims are still 930 claims too many. Metal theft incidents are still running well above levels seen in the 1990s and early 2000s, when metal theft was so infrequent we saw fewer than 10 church claims a year.

“There are still areas in the country where metal theft incidents are far too frequent. For example, according to our claims statistics, the worst-affected areas for church metal theft in 2012 were the Salisbury, Chelmsford, Winchester, Chichester and Birmingham dioceses.

“Even though the numbers are pointing in the right direction, it’s going to take a concerted effort for years to come from businesses, politicians and law enforcement agencies to ensure our heritage is safe from these heartless, predatory criminals.”

Coates added that the government’s move to ban cash payments for the sale of scrap metal and the Scrap Metal Bill will help stem the problem further.

Ecclesiastical insures more than 96% of the UK’s Anglican churches.

Drop in number of metal thefts from York churches

Thefts from historic churches in York dropped by more than 75 per cent last year – as nationwide thefts fell to the lowest level since 2006. 

Statistics released today by specialist church and heritage insurer Ecclesiastical reveal churches in the city targeted by thieves made 20 insurance claims totalling more than £30,000 last year – down from claims amounting to £130,000 in 2011 when nationally it was the worst year on record.

 

Click Here to Read the Report

 

Gang Members Arrested for Church of England Metal-Stealing Spree

Six men have been arrested in connection to a string of thefts that inflicted £1 million of damage on churches in northern England. Their stolen goods of choice? Valuable lead from church roofs.

 

Click Here to Read the Report

 

 

In Memoriam

Elsie May Langthorne - 28th November 2012

Hannah and Gary  would like to thank everyone for their support, love and kindness at this difficult time. 

Elise May Langthorne

Of tremendous help to them both, were the charities featured below and in lieu of flowers, they would appreciate donations in Elsie’s name to be made to 4Louis and Aching Arms in order that they may continue the precious work they do. 

 

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Hands Off Our Church Roofs!

Churches across the country are being blighted by the theft of lead and copper from their roofs. For criminals keen to cash in on the high price of scrap metals, places of worship often make an obvious target.
It’s a rapidly growing problem that’s causing untold distress to our parish communities and it’s reaching epidemic proportions - 2011 was the worst year on record for the number of metal theft claims from churches.

In fact, over the past four years, metal theft claims from churches we insure have now exceeded £25m, with over 9,000 claims.

Click Here to Read the Article

 

— ecclesiastical.com, Ecclesiastical Insurance

The company that insures almost all Anglican church buildings has warned that it will to have to stop offering full insurance against the risk of metal theft.

An average of seven churches a night are attacked by metal thieves, who target gutters, railings, plaques and other items.

Click Here to Watch the Report

 

Special movement sensors are to be hidden in spires and finials triggering a booming voice to take intruders by surprise warning that they have been detected and that security guards are on their way.

The initiative, backed by the Church of England, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office, comes after the rate of metal thefts reached “catastrophic” proportions in some dioceses with an average of seven churches targeted every day.

An insurance company has donated £500,000 to pay for hi-tech alarms to be fitted in 100 churches in England, Scotland and Wales judged to be most at risk.

Click Here to Watch the Report

 

COST OF METAL THEFT EXCEEDS £20M

Latest figures from Ecclesiastical Insurance show that the total cost of metal theft from churches has exceeded £20m over the last five years. According to the specialist church insurer, more than 6,000 incidents of lead thefts from churches were reported to the insurer between 2005 and 2010 alone.

Although the recession and a drop in the price of lead helped limit the number of lead theft incidents in 2009, the year was still the third toughest year for our churches battling with the continuing epidemic. The two worst years so far have been 2007 and 2008, with 77% of the total claims for the last five years being reported in these two years.

In 2009 more than 900 thefts of metal incidents from churches were reported, costing an estimated total of over £2m.

Ecclesiastical is currently also exploring the options for, and trialling the use of roof alarm systems, to give churches another useful weapon against lead thieves. The initial pilot of alarms in selected churches has been successful and should further trials support the initial findings, roof alarms may be the next tool recommended to churches at risk.

Special movement sensors are to be hidden in spires and finials triggering a booming voice to take intruders by surprise warning that they have been detected and that security guards are on their way.

The initiative, backed by the Church of England, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office, comes after the rate of metal thefts reached “catastrophic” proportions in some dioceses with an average of seven churches targeted every day.

An insurance company has donated £500,000 to pay for hi-tech alarms to be fitted in 100 churches in England, Scotland and Wales judged to be most at risk.

Click Here to Watch the Report

— telegraph.co.uk, Telegraph

 

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