The Inaugural meeting of the Essex Heritage Crime Strategy Group took place on Wednesday 7th October 2015 at the Corporation of London Epping Forest Rangers base at Loughton. The group consists of Essex Police, Essex County Council Place Services, Historic England and other heritage professionals representing the different facets of our heritage for instance: visitor attractions and museums, archaeology, church buildings, listed building owners, the insurance sector and history groups.
Trace-in-Metal were invited to the group to present their new, unique and innovative method of fighting metal theft. Trace-in-Metal Managing Director provided the Strategy Group with an overview of the problems surrounding metal theft in rural communities and the specific difficulties being faced by guardians of historic buildings. He was able to present a number of case studies where the Trace-in-Metal system had been used to good effect.
The Essex Heritage Crime Strategy Group were a guiding body for the formation of Heritage Watch, and the meeting included an update on its progress and will continue to support Heritage Watch. One of the objectives of the group is to understand and reduce crimes threatening our heritage assets such as metal thefts and the recently publicised theft of historic masonry.
William Brown, the National Security Adviser to the Arts Council also presented a very informative talk on the security of heritage assets within museums, including his role as National Security Advisor, which included a very useful section on the Government Indemnity Scheme. Metal theft and in particular the theft of lead from historic buildings and the theft of public art, such as the theft of a Barbara Hepworth bronze, Two Forms from South Dulwich park were discussed. (Pictured: The aftermath of the theft of the important Barbara Hepworth bronze)
Following the formal presentations and group discussions, attendees were able to spend time over a marvellous finger buffet lunch that was sponsored by Trace-in-Metal.
Stephen Armson-Smith - Essex Police heritage crime prevention lead said “Heritage assets within our county are many, varied, and valuable and in most cases they are simply irreplaceable, it’s important that we are proactive in protecting them. This group brings together the people with the knowledge from the wide variety of heritage fields to help keep our heritage safe for this and future generations to enjoy”.
John Minary, Managing Director of Trace-in-Metal said, “We were very happy to receive an invitation to present the advantages of the Trace-in-Metal Lead protection system to the Essex Heritage Crime Strategy Group. Trace-in-Metal is in the vanguard in helping historic buildings and custodians fight the ever present scourge that is Metal Theft. “