LEAD thieves have targeted the Dorchester area in another spate of metal thefts.

Dorset Police received three reports in less than a week of lead being stolen from roofs across Dorchester and the surrounding area.

Dorchester YMCA, in Sawmills Lane, had lead flashing stolen from its roof overnight between Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17 Hayley Gould, centre co-ordinator for the charity, said: “We discovered the theft on Saturday.

“They had taken the lead flashing from pretty much the whole side of the building. It’s caused £900 to £1,000-worth of damage.

“This is the second time lead from the roof has been stolen and we got broken into over Christmas as well.

“Last year we had another lead theft where they took the same strip of lead and they took it all that time and we had water damage in the building.

“This time our builders came and replaced it immediately, so we didn’t get any water damage but we had to foot the bill straight away.

“They keep hitting us because they think we’re an easy target.”

She added: “It’s pretty low to steal from a charity and we could really do without any extra bills.

“It’s a shame because it has to come out of our pocket all the time and we don’t have any money laying around.

“If people steal from us they’re basically stealing from the people we help.

“We have to do so much fundraising for anything because all our government funds have been cut.

She added: “We’re having CCTV cameras with night-vision inst-alled to cover the roof.

“We’ve had lead-free flashing put up which isn’t worth anything and signs telling people this to put them off.

“Hopefully all this extra security will deter anyone else from targeting us.”

St Peter’s Church, in West Knighton, had ten metres of lead stripped from its roof last week between Tuesday and Thursday.

And a block of flats in High Street, Fordington, was targeted between Tuesday and Wednesday last week and a quantity of lead flashing was stolen.

There have also been two metal thefts in the Sherbourne area.

Police are appealing for witnesses to contact them on 101.

Police advice

Deputy Inspector for Dorchester, Steve Foot, said: “I would advise any building with a lead roof or flashing on it to increase the security because as the price of metal continues to rise this issue is going to carry on.

“People are taking absolutely anything that they can lay their hands on that’s made of metal.

“Remote areas are more vulnerable.

“People could also put a neighbourhood watch system in place to take an active role in safeguarding their communities.”