According to religious authorities, campaigns to cut thefts from church buildings by installing burglar alarms have led to a dramatic drop in insurance claims.
The 'Hands Off Our Church Roofs' campaign was launched in 2013 by Anglican churches across the UK and aimed to install electronic alarm systems to protect against the theft of valuable treasures.
The campaign resulted in a dramatic fall in insurance claims. Two years later, the leading church insurer, Ecclesiastical, received 60% fewer claims.
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 a 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 configured to ignore the movement of birds, other small animals and the weather. Concealed sensors on churches' roofs 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 is 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 guidance to help churches protect treasures, and this included the installation of intruder alarms. The Council points out that intruder alarms can protect part or the 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 advises on how to reduce the risk of crime through the design of buildings with lots of helpful guidance on its website.