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Research on Heritage Crime

English Heritage commissioned research into the scale of heritage crime in England. 

A survey carried out for English Heritage, now Historic England, in 2011 by Newcastle University, Loughbrough University and the Council for British Archaeology suggests that there are around 75,000 crimes annually - around 200 a day, affecting historic sites, including listed buildings. 

These figures seem high but they are broadly in line with the British Crime Survey.  Historic places are not necessarily being targeted over other places, except for their valuable materials and artefacts, but they are suffering a substantial rate of attrition from crime nevertheless. And they are of course susceptible to irrerversible harm.

Listed churches and other religious buildings were found to be by far the most at risk with more than a third being damaged by crime in 2010. Metal theft was a major problem.

You can read the summary below:

Full Report

The full report, published in 2012 and called: The Extent of Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour Facing Designated Heritage Assets, includes research on:

  • The most prevalent types of heritage crime 
  • Those heritage assets most affected by crime
  • The type of crime which most affects each category of heritage asset, such as listed buildings or scheduled monuments
  • The prevalence of heritage crime in different types of area

Read the full report:

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