Cameras fitted to stop thieves targeting Swansea church
A CHURCH has fitted a CCTV security system after being repeatedly targeted by lead thieves.
Metal has been stripped from the roof of Christ Well Church in Manselton, Swansea, three times in just five weeks, forcing church elders to seek a hi-tech solution.
The CCTV system went live this week in an attempt to beat the thieves, and the vicar is urging members of the community to rally round and keep an eye, not only on Christ Well, but all local churches.
The Rev Nick Stanyon said: "This has been very distressing for everyone at the church — as soon as we fixed the roof it would happen again.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"This is very much a community church and people have been very generous in supporting us — a lot of community groups meet here, from mums and toddlers to Welsh classes and health support for elderly people.
"The people who have stolen the lead must be desperate or thoughtless."
As well as introducing a CCTV system, the church has replaced the stolen lead with a non-metal substitute, and treated the remaining lead with an invisible DNA marker which can be traced if it is stolen.
Christ Well is no stranger to lead thefts — last year a quantity of flashing was stolen from its roof which resulted in rain getting in and damaging the kitchen area.
Recent years have seen the number of metal thefts soar as prices for scrap rise, and thieves in South West Wales have stolen everything from power cables to brass instruments, litter bins, drain covers and even name plaques from war memorials.
Earlier this year the four Welsh forces, led by South Wales Police, launched a campaign to try to nail metal thieves by urging members of the public who see something suspicious in their communities — from unknown vans parked in the street to the arrival of unexpected workmen — to reach for the phone.
The Rev Stanyon echoed that call.
He said: "This is a problem that affects lots of churches, not just Christ Well — I would appeal to everyone to keep an eye on their local churches, and to report anything suspicious to the police"
South Wales Police have confirmed they are investigating three thefts at the Manselton Road church — one between June 20 and June 22, another between July 22 and July 27, and a third between July 31 and August 1.
A police spokesman said: "We are investigating a series of lead thefts from the roof of Christ Well Church, and we would urge anyone with information to come forward."
Can you help? Call South Wales Police on 101