Archdeacon of Lincoln calls for tougher scrap laws
Church leaders in Lincolnshire are calling for tighter controls on scrap dealers after a series of church lead thefts in the county.
Lincolnshire Police has received 160 reports of theft and vandalism in the past six months.
The Archdeacon of Lincoln, The Venerable Tim Barker, said: "We need tighter legislation on scrap metal dealers to prevent cash transactions."
He said the present system was too easy for criminals to trade stolen metal.
"It seems to be very much a cash economy where you can turn-up with scrap metal and be paid in cash.
"It's not traceable and you don't know whose brought it in," he said.
"What we need is to know whose bringing metal in and if it is stolen from churches, power companies or the railways."
Ch Insp Mark Housley, from Lincolnshire Police, said the "thefts have a massive impact on our rural communities".
"It's not a victimless crime and the cost and the damage to our heritage is massive," he said.
"We've had some real successes lately and everytime we have a crime we visit all the scrap metal dealers in the county."
The Diocese of Lincoln has organised two training events in October for church wardens to meet police to discuss ways of tightening the security in and around church buildings.