Lead thefts in Lincolnshire is 'unprecedented problem'

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The theft of lead from churches and other buildings in Lincolnshire is becoming an ''unprecedented problem'', according to the Archdeacon of Lincoln.

Lincolnshire Police said since January there had been more than 40 thefts from churches in the county.

Ch Insp Mark Housley, from Lincolnshire Police, said lead thefts were becoming a big priority for the force.

Doddington Hall, in Doddington, is the latest place to be targeted, with thieves causing £2,500 worth of damage.

'Absolutely heartbreaking'

Ch Insp Housley said he had been told by people investigating the problem that such thefts were not expected to peak until 2015.

"We've had 43 churches attacked, there are 600 churches in the county so I guess that's how big it could get," he said.

"It is organised crime and it is an issue."

The Archdeacon of Lincoln, The Venerable Tim Barker, said: "It was the odd incident but just in the last few weeks it has become almost a daily occurrence.

"It really is an unprecedented problem and it is absolutely heartbreaking to see the amount of damage that's being caused to churches.

"It's not just the taking of lead but often the vandals/criminals are damaging the stonework."

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