Historic Buildings a target for criminals
According to a survey commissioned by English Heritage, historic buildings across the country are being targeted by vandals and thieves. Researchers surveyed 609 owners in October and November last year and their findings suggest almost a fifth of all sites – some 70,000 buildings – could have been harmed in 2011.
Metal theft was the most common crime, and churches the most at threat.
English Heritage Chief Executive Simon Thurley said irreparable damage meant “centuries of history will be lost forever. Whilst heritage is not necessarily being targeted over other places, save perhaps for their valuable materials and artefacts, they are suffering a substantial rate of attrition from crime nonetheless,” he said. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/news/new-study-heritage-crime/
“Their particular vulnerability warrants every effort to ensure they are still around for future generations to enjoy just as much as we enjoy them now.”
The survey was carried out by Newcastle University, Loughborough University and the Council for British Archaeology. It looked at listed buildings, unlisted buildings in conservation areas, scheduled monuments, and historic parks and gardens and based its figures on the sample size.
Janet Gough, director of the Church of England’s cathedrals and church buildings division told the BBC, “Churches are fighting back against crime with increased security measures and vigilance but are not able to bear the threat and cost of crime indefinitely.” However, this is where cost effective solutions such as Jabbakam come into their own. Relatively cheap for the churches to purchase and use they could also recruit volunteers to be monitors of the system who could then report crimes instantly to the police. As the system can alert users as soon as movement is detected it won’t be too much of a burden on their time.