Could churches do more to stop lead thieves?

OBVIOUSLY it’s appalling that lead thieves are getting away with valuable hauls of the metal from roofs, church roofs especially, but I wonder whether the church authorities are doing enough to fight the crime?

The Sibsey church incident (Boston Standard September 7) is merely the latest in a long line of such crimes in Lincolnshire.

I know from a friend in the building trade that you can purchase a substance – greasy and fairly horrible, no doubt – which can easily be applied to lead.

It has two advantages as it reduces the market value of the lead that has been treated with it, making it a much less attractive proposition to a thief.

It also has a secret DNA tracer so that if police do manage to catch up with a suspect a link can be established forensically.

There are also simpler ways: it is obvious you should not leave ladders lying around, but guess what? Visiting a local church recently I saw a strong steel ladder left almost perfectly in place for an opportunist thief to take advantage of. It was getting too late in the day for a workman to have left it there temporarily but might have been just the thing to help someone intended to lift the lead.


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