RESIDENTS have been warned to be on their guard after several reports of lead being stolen from buildings in some parts of Worcestershire over the last few weeks.
Following the thefts, the police have issued advice about what people can do to prevent themselves being victims.
People should spend minutes surveying where lead is located, make sure equipment, such as ladders or bins which could be used by thieves to get onto the roof, are locked away.
Residents should consider using forensic marking systems to mark any lead on site.
Displaying visible warning signs letting people know it is marked can act as a deterrent for would-be thieves.
Where a theft has happened, people should consider using lead replacement products to reduce chance of victimisation (check with your local planning officer to see if this is allowed on your building).
Anti-climb paint or physical barriers can be used to prevent access, but all anti climb devices must be clearly signposted to comply with the Occupiers Liability Act 1984.
Residents are also being urged to keep an eye out on buildings in their area and report any suspicious activity, including the arrival of workmen or vans late at night or unauthorised people on rooftops.
Take note of any vehicle registrations of suspicious vehicles and report to 101.
Anyone involved with a church or historic property needing some guidance can contact Historic England which has produced a quick assessment tool accessed via https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/heritage-crime-risk-qat/
There is also additional guidance available on their website advising on issues such as metal theft and how to protect property from heritage crime.
Local Safer Neighbourhood Teams have further advice.