Concern over potential metal theft

COUNCILLORS in Surfleet considered upping their insurance on gates and railings around St Laurence Church in case metal thieves strike.

But members voted to leave the £1,000-plus premium as it is after Coun Allen Dobney said the gates and fence had stood untouched for a century.

He said: “How many times has it been stolen in the last 100 years? It’s a bit unlikely.”

Chairman Coun Glynn Waltham said he didn’t want the bill to fall to parishioners.

He said: “When they take the lead off the church roofs I am sure they can take our gates if they have a mind to.”

And Coun Roy Sell told Tuesday’s meeting: “You should assess what it’s going to cost to replace it. It’s common sense.”

A house in Spalding’s Stonegate is one of the latest properties targeted by metal thieves.

Burglars stripped copper piping and left the home flooded on Friday.

Metal thieves are costing the country £750million a year and Lincolnshire alone suffered 4,600 crimes last year, including 160 attacks on churches.

Independent charity Crimestoppers is urging people to fight back and “scrap the metal thieves” by reporting them anonymously on 0800 555111.

A spokesman said: “We don’t want to know who you are – we only want to know what you know.”

Police locally are routinely stopping vehicles carrying scrap metal and are visiting scrapyards, but at least one local scrap business has put in its own security measures to stop thieves touting stolen metal there.