Send us news, start your message Cheshire News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Help save the past for the future
COMMUNITIES are being urged to help protect Cheshire’s proud heritage by joining in a new initiative.
The groundbreaking Heritage Watch scheme has been launched in a bid to tackle the criminals who prey on the county’s historic sites.
Cheshire Police has teamed up with Cheshire’s local authorities, English Heritage and Cheshire Fire and Rescue to launch the scheme, which will work in a similar way to Home Watch.
Asst Chf Con Ruth Purdie said: “We are asking local people to preserve and protect their heritage so that it can be enjoyed by their children and grandchildren.
“Cheshire is particularly rich in buildings and other sites which have historical importance.
“Even those that are privately owned belong to the local community in terms of environmental value.
“We want people to appreciate that and make sure they survive into the future.”
Heritage sites are vulnerable to crimes like arson, vandalism, graffiti and metal theft.
As part of Heritage Watch, groups will be set up to monitor local heritage sites, report anything suspicious and generally be vigilant in sharing information.
Asst Chf Con Purdie pointed out that heritage crime is not victimless.
She said: “If someone strips lead from a church roof, bad weather can do untold damage to the entire building in a very short time.
“The stolen lead may only be worth two or three hundred pounds. The repair costs may be twenty or thirty thousand pounds."
She added: “Criminals who indulge in this type of theft don′t have any consideration for the effect on other people. They are just interested in a quick profit.
“Many of these crimes can be prevented.
“Other agencies are likely to be involved as Heritage Watch becomes recognised and more and more people get involved.
“Local people can make it clear that this type of crime is unacceptable. They will be signing up for a real attempt to protect our heritage for the future.”
To get involved in Heritage Watch ring Cheshire Police Communities Unit on 01606 362034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.