Since 1 September there have been six reported break-ins at churches in the Diocese of Ely.
In one case an Elizabethan communion cup and paten were taken, but most cases, nothing of value was taken, with the only cost being repairing the damage done to break in, which usually accounts for the bulk of the costs when a church is burgled.
- Ecclesiastical Insurance publishes several guidance notes to help churches make their buildings more secure, which can be found here: https://www.ecclesiastical.com/risk-management/church-security/
- We have also recently published a video on how to keep your church open to visitors and remain secure Safe Opening of Churches
- PCCs should keep valuable and portable items locked away out of sight, particularly items which are easy to sell, such as audio and computer equipment.
- Cambs Police have also produced some helpful guidance which can be downloaded from the links below:
- All churches should be equipped with a safe which is securely fixed to the building.
- Some older safes do not provide a good level of security and consideration should be given to upgrading your safe - this can be done without needing any consent from the Diocese.
- It is important that thieves cannot access the keys for the safe - therefore these should not be kept in the church, not even in a key-safe. Most key safes are relatively easy to break into, unlike the safes themselves. Keeping keys in a key safe simply makes it obvious where they are and how the thieves can get hold of them.
- Installation of alarms and closed-circuit television cameras can now be undertaken with permission from your Archdeacon.
- Both of these technologies have become much cheaper in recent years, are often "wireless", and can be connected to the internet via a mobile phone sim card, meaning remote monitoring is possible.
- Before you undertake any works of this type, it would be beneficial to talk to your insurer, who may be able to put you in touch with their local representative who can offer further tailored advice to the needs of your church.