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21 March 2012 | PR 12/55

Loughborough experts hope to help lower heritage crime

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Heritage properties like Staunton Harold church in Leicestershire may be at risk of criminal activity. (Photo by Mark Grove)

A Loughborough lecturer hopes new guidelines will help lower the tens of thousands of crimes committed against England’s heritage sites each year.

Dr Louise Grove will today present initial crime prevention recommendations to the Alliance to Reduce Crime Against Heritage (ARCH) in the wake of an English Heritage report that revealed an estimated 70,000 heritage buildings and sites were harmed by crime in 2011.

Criminologist Dr Grove was part of the team to collate the initial report and, alongside Loughborough Professor Ken Pease OBE, she has been commissioned as a consultant to English Heritage to produce guidelines to help lower these latest figures.

“Crimes to heritage assets are not excessive when compared to wider British Crime Survey figures, which tells us criminals see the opportunity for crime; they don’t see the damage to heritage,” explained Dr Grove.

“But if a church roof is stolen or a war memorial damaged it has a wider community impact than a domestic crime, and costs to replace stolen architecture and fittings are typically very high, so it’s important we help put a stop to it.   

“There are lessons we can learn from existing crime prevention knowledge and there is clearly a role for education to play. I hope our guidelines, which are still being developed, will add to the good work already carried out by organisations such as English Heritage and will play an important role in reducing crime against these sites.”

The report The extent of crime and anti-social behaviour facing designated heritage assets was compiled by Newcastle and Loughborough Universities and the Council for British Archaeology. It can be found on the English Heritage website.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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