A catalogue of thousands of crimes, ranging from rape and murder to petty theft, at places of worship over the past two years has been revealed in a report published this week by the Countryside Alliance.
The figures were described as “extremely distressing reading” by the Alliance, which obtained them from UK police forces through Freedom of Information requests. It launched the investigation after members expressed concern over lead thefts at rural churches. In total, the number of crimes reported to have taken place in or around places of worship since January 2017 was 20,168.
Mo Metcalf-Fisher of the Countryside Alliance said this week: “These figures paint a bleak picture. What’s worse is that there are likely many, many more incidents like these recorded, but that haven’t been disclosed to us. As a society, irrespective of faith or none, we need to be much more vigilant when it comes to watching over churches and places of worship by reporting suspicious activity.
“These figures serve as a reminder of the importance of funding and pushing for visible policing, particularly in rural areas where churches are more remote.”
Police survey reveals crime wave in and around churches
Freedom of Information request uncovers the scale of theft and violencehttps://t.co/T6o5HsmoCx
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) November 8, 2019