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Gloucestershire Business News

Police warning to be vigilant following lead thefts

Police are warning people to be extra vigilant following an increase of reports of lead thefts across the county.

Churches, schools and Victorian public buildings are all at risk with thieves also damaging the buildings as they take the lead.

Officers are now offering advice on how to protect against the thefts.

Kim Mowday, Harm Reduction Advisor for Gloucestershire Constabulary, said: "Any Victorian age public building, including churches and schools, may all be vulnerable. Lead was used by the Victorians to seal buildings and was the material of choice for guttering.

"The damage caused when lead is removed by thieves can be considerable and generally far above the cost of the stolen material.

"You need to be aware of where the lead can be found on your building, check it is still in place and consider marking it with a Forensic Chemical Marker like Smartwater or SelectaDNA.

"There are specialist alarms that can be fitted to roofs so contact your insurer to get some help and advice. You should also consider replacing it with other materials.

"In difficult times, the value of metal rises and so becomes a target for thieves. Check your property, don't leave any ladders out, and make sure that you mark it."

If you have been the victim of lead theft, it can be reported to police by calling 101. If notice any suspicious activity, call 999 immediately.

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