Image showing police officers and Historic England staff working on a heritage crime initiative.
Police and Historic England staff working on a heritage crime initiative. © Historic England
Police and Historic England staff working on a heritage crime initiative. © Historic England

Preventing Heritage Crime

Owners, managers and enforcement agencies

Concerned about the threat of heritage crime?

If you are the owner or manager of a historic place, the Heritage Crime Prevention Measures guidance will help you consider what actions you can take to make it more secure.

Please be aware that some actions may require consent, so contact your Local Authority Conservation Department for advice before doing any work which might affect your property.

More generally, you may wish to use our guidance to:

Has your property been affected by heritage crime?

If you are concerned that a recent incident has taken place that has damaged a heritage asset, please see our Reporting Heritage Crime page for more information.

Interested people and groups

Crime prevention needs people like you who are willing to actively identify and monitor the condition of heritage assets in their area. If you’re aware of a recent crime or are concerned that one is happening please contact the police. There may also be a Heritage Watch scheme in your area that you can join or another group that’s involved in heritage crime prevention.

Heritage Watch schemes

Heritage Watch schemes enable the public to report and share information on crime, suspicious behaviour and damage they observe at heritage assets in their community or while out and about. Historic England is working with constabularies around the country to introduce more Heritage Watch schemes.

There are Heritage Watch schemes in:

Special interest groups

Groups, trusts and societies can play an important role in preventing heritage crime. Consider these approaches:

  • Identify the heritage assets in your area and use the Heritage Crime Risk: quick risk assessment tool to assess risk and identify appropriate prevention measures
  • Make contact with your local police service. They may already have a liaison officer with responsibility for heritage crime in your local area
  • You could also consider involving other local groups such as a Neighbourhood Watch, Farm Watch or Heritage Watch organisations. Parish councils, churches and other landowners with assets vulnerable to heritage crime may also wish to be involved
  • Raise heritage crime and anti-social behaviour on the agendas of already established methods of managing crime and promoting safety in the area (for example Community Safety Partnerships)
  • Follow @HeritageCrime to stay up to date with heritage crime developments