Hands Off Our Church Roof Campaign Launched
The issue was discussed on Radio 4's Today Programme and again on Radio 5 Live
The aim of the campaign is to see sophisticated electronic alarm systems installed on the roofs of British Anglican churches across the country. The leading church and heritage insurer Ecclesiastical is investing £500,000 of its own money to install roof alarms free of charge on some of the country’s most badly affected churches.
It is backed by the Church of England Church Buildings Council, the Association of Chief Police Officers and Minister of State for the Home Office, Lord Henley.
Starting this month, Ecclesiastical will fit alarms to churches in most of the 42 mainland English dioceses and a number of alarms in Scotland and Wales. Signage will then be displayed at all churches to warn thieves of the existence of church roof alarms in the area.
The alarms use concealed sensors on the church’s roof to detect the presence of a metal thief. Upon activation, the alarms emit powerful blue flashing lights to draw attention to the church while speakers broadcast a loud, recorded message warning the criminal that an alarm has been activated. Depending on the agreement with the alarm company, an alarm signal will be sent to a remote monitoring unit and will trigger security personnel to attend the scene.
Ecclesiastical has already piloted the use of roof alarms in more than 100 churches over the last few years. The insurer’s experience has shown that where roof alarms have been fitted, metal thefts have reduced significantly or stopped completely.
We are also getting involved and have trialed the alarm system at one of our churches in Suffolk.