Theft from parish churches has been rising at a concerning rate. It is as if criminal gangs regard ancient churches as a limitless resource to be plundered at will. Thefts are not only of lead roofs and downpipes, but historic artifacts and even items such as centuries-old flagstones on approach paths.
Here is a security checklist to consider:
- Do an audit of the most valuable possessions in your church. What can you do to protect them? Is your insurance coverage high enough to replace them, if they are stolen?
- Never leave money in the church (if you must leave money at your church, make sure you have a safe that is bolted down to the floor).
- Keep outside doors locked when holding meetings – burglars like to get in to a building while there is a meeting going on and hide until everyone leaves.
- Look at the shrubs and trees close to the building – will they provide cover for anyone attempting to break in? Do not give them a place to hide.
- Install motion sensitive lights – thieves generally do not like to be in the spotlight.
- If you have a security system, make sure it is upgraded to the latest technology.
- If you don’t have a security system, consider installing one, ideally with monitoring.
GBSG are specialists in church security – can we advise your church? Initial consultations are free.