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Tackling heritage crime across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire

Hereford Voice

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West Mercia Police has reinforced its commitment to tackling heritage crime, including metal and rural thefts, at a recent event at Harvington Hall.


The event, attended by Chief Constable Pippa Mills, highlighted the use of SmartWater to help prevent metal thefts, and showcased some of the tactics utilised by the We Don’t Buy Crime team to prevent rural thefts, such as agricultural and plant machinery thefts.

During the event, CC Mills discussed the force’s efforts with Lord Faulkner, who also attended, and identified the link between heritage crime and organised crime. Lord Faulkner sits on the Metal, Stone and Heritage Crime All-party parliamentary group.

She said: “We have some vast and beautiful rural areas across the counties covered by West Mercia Police, many home to iconic heritage sites and it is vital we protect these. Understandably, rural crime has a huge impact on our local communities and I’m pleased with the work that goes on by teams right across the force. However, of course, there is always more we can do.

“We know there is often a link between heritage crime and organised crime, those involved in heritage crime are often also involved in other organised criminality, including drugs and trafficking. Heritage crime doesn’t just have an impact locally, but further afield.”

The event was led by Wyre Forest Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector David King with support from the We Don’t Buy Crime. Insp King is also West Mercia Police’s heritage crime lead and regional lead for the West Midlands.

Heritage England recently extended funding for the National Police Cadets “Solve It” initiative. The initiative gives Volunteer Police Cadet schemes the opportunity to propose projects in response to a Heritage Challenge, giving the opportunity for young volunteers to be directly involved in looking after and making the most of their historic environment.

Heritage crime is any offence which harms the value of heritage assets and their settings, such as theft , criminal damage, arson and anti-social behaviour.

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