Heritage Crime Programme

Unlawful works, theft, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour can be devastating to individual historic buildings or sites and have an attritional effect on our heritage generally. Around 20% of listed buildings are harmed by crime every year and the figure is near double for listed places of worship (ref. 1).

In order to maximise efforts to prevent such crimes and punish them appropriately, Historic England has researched the nature of the problem and provides guidance and training on effective strategies for enforcement agencies, owners and other interested groups.

At a national level, the police, Crown Prosecution Service, participating local authorities and other agencies meet regularly to share intelligence and discuss strategies.

Historic England convenes an interest group called the Alliance to Reduce Crime against Heritage (ARCH) which provides a means of sharing information and strategies and encouraging local networks who can make a real difference by executing the strategies and tactics. Membership is open to all relevant groups.


(1) Heritage Crime: The Size of the Problem, English Heritage, March 2012