Campaigns to cut thefts from church buildings by installing burglar alarms has led to a dramatic drop in insurance claims, according to religious authorities.
The 'Hands Off Our Church Roofs' campaign was launched in 2013 by Anglican churches across the UK aimed to install electronic alarm systems to protect against theft of valuable treasures.
The campaign resulted in a dramatic fall in insurance claims. In the year to August 2015, leading church insurer Ecclesiastical received just over 650 applications compared with more than 1,600 for the same period in 2011 — a drop of 60%.
It certainly pays churches to install intruder alarm systems. Crown Securities UK can install a range of police approved wireless security alarm systems specifically designed to provide high levels of security with small impact on building aesthetics.
Our church security systems can employ a broad range of devices to curb trespassers including PIR (Passive Infra-Red) detectors, sensitive to human activity, and dual optic detectors in the roof that can be configured to ignore the movement of birds, other small animals and the weather.
Concealed sensors on church's roof are particularly useful in detecting metal theft. When suspicious activity is detected, the alarms can trigger flashing lights; speakers can broadcast a warning, and a response signal transmitted to a remote monitoring unit.
Insurers say that where roof alarms are fitted, thefts of metal and lead have reduced sharply or even stopped altogether.
The Church Buildings Council has published advice to help churches protect treasures, and this included the installation of intruder alarms.
The Council points out that intruder alarms can protect part or whole of the building and that response alarm signalling can be with audible alarms to a remote monitoring station.
Other initiatives to combat church crime include;
The Association of Chief Police Officers also gives advice on how to reduce the risk of crime through the design of buildings with lots of useful guidance on its building design website.