Police are calling on local communities to help prevent the theft of lead from churches over the festive period.
In the past, Suffolk has seen a rise in metal thefts, including the theft of lead from churches.
Whilst police in the county have not recorded recent incidents, neighbouring counties have experienced a recent rise in these crimes so officers are asking communities to be alert to this type of offence.
All intelligence linked to metal thefts is shared with neighbouring counties and at both a regional and national level.
Police also work with churches to help prevent the theft of lead from roofs. All churches are encouraged to consider the installation of lighting, CCTV and/or roof alarms.
Rural churches are often targeted due to their isolated locations so members of the public are asked to report any suspicious activity they see.
Stealing a large amount of lead takes time and a reasonably large vehicle to transport it, so any early reports will assist police in locating offenders.
Chief Inspector Sarah Shrubshall said “We are asking local people to take an interest in their local church whilst they are out and about. If you take the dog out for a walk, or go for a stroll, don’t ignore anything that you think looks out of place - report anything you think may be suspicious to the police. Communities can act as our eyes and ears, and by pulling together to note suspicious activity, we can deter thieves from commiting these damaging crimes.”