Gargoyles are the traditional guardians of the building on which they are placed and it is hoped the unusual image will be a powerful reminder to thieves that they are being watched by unseen eyes. A campaign called “Church Watch” that was launched at Manchester Cathedral following a theft of lead in August 2008 uses “Griff” to spread the word about proactively protecting church buildings. The campaign, organised by the Manchester Diocese of the Church of England, uses a three step approach to combat theft;-
PREVENT: Use Smartwater to mark roof lead and other valuable metals. To stop future insurance claims possibly being reduced by 50% you should register your use of SmartWater and if any building work involves scaffolding with your insurance company.
Remove items that aid climbing or lead removal such as wheelie bins and ladders. Lock gates and prevent access to cars and vans. Cut hedges and trees (check if planning permission is needed). Use anti climb paint on down spouts and lightning conductors (consult your architect).
Consider CCTV and/or installing an intruder alarm system.
WATCH: There are two aspects to this ‘Watch’ section; 1. Church Watch, and 2.Diocesan Metal Theft Alerts. Get these elements right and you could well catch the thieves or deter them. Details are on the website, whose link is provided below.
REPORT: If you suffer lead theft then it is important that you report the crime and evaluate your prevention and watching helpers. The DAC will advise on a suitable replacement material which will be less attractive to thieves. English Heritage and the Chancellor are working together to provide effective planning exemptions.
Full information is available on http://www.beatmetaltheft.org