Having to beat metal thieves

Having to beat metal thieves

Along with his usual church-related daily tasks, the vicar of St Augustine’s Church has had to add checking the roof for missing parts to his list.

“You quite often get damage to the stonework as well from people removing the lead and climbing around,” the Reverend Matthew Tomlinson said.

The 19th Century church, in Edgbaston, has been targeted by metal thieves six times in two months, something Mr Tomlinson said was “pretty disheartening” for both him and his parishioners.

The vicar said that despite being based at the church for 11 years, the metal thefts at the end of last year were the first he had encountered.

“We replaced the stolen lead and it was stolen again four or five days later,” he said.

The church was one of dozens in the city targeted last year by thieves attracted by the rising price of non-ferrous metals.

Now, the House of Commons is to hear further calls for new laws to tackle the growing problem of metal theft which counts hospitals, historic buildings and the rail network among its victims.

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