New team launched to tackle heritage crime

HISTORIC buildings and archeological sites across 1066 Country are to get better protection against thieves and vandals with the creation of a new crime-busting team.

The Alliance to Reduce Crime against Heritage (ARCH) was launched by English Heritage on Friday.

Representatives from a raft of organisations such as the National Trust, the Woodland Trust and the Historic Houses Association, decided to create the new nationwide crime-busting partnership, to help target the growing menace of heritage crime.

The organisation includes senior police officers, crown prosecutors and church leaders.

Last year thieves stole a torpedo tube hatch from the shipwreck of the HMS Holland 5 submarine six miles off Hastings.

In August divers from English Heritage discovered the 30kg hatch was missing and reported the theft to police. The vessel, which foundered in August 1912, is the only surviving example on the sea bed of this class of submarine in the world and is a designated wreck.

PC Duncan Cleverley, of Hastings Police, said: “It is important to protect our heritage, and these buildings and artefacts are irreplaceable.

“Only last year a torpedo hatch was stolen, by thieves, from a wrecked submarine, the Holland 5, off the coast of Hastings. We fully support this new initiative, especially in 1066 country where the history is so important.”