Revealed: The towns and villages where metal thieves have struck

Metal theft action

New data has revealed the number of metal thefts in Norfolk since 2017 - Credit: Archant

Metal thieves have struck more than 20 times in the Dereham, Fakenham and Wells area over the past five years.

And new data shows that there have been 350 thefts of copper and lead in Norfolk since 2017, with 56 at churches. 

Police operation targeting stolen metal

A police operation targeting stolen metal - Credit: PA

Addresses in Dereham have fallen victim to metal thefts 10 times during this period, while Fakenham was targeted six times and Wells once. 

While the greatest number of reported instances have been in Norwich and larger towns such as Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn, 63 villages were also affected.

Weasenham St Peter, near Fakenham, was one of only six villages in the county to be raided more than once, according to figures released by Norfolk Constabulary under the Freedom of Information Act.

Others impacted in the area were Little Massingham, Harpley, West Rudham, Walsingham and Melton Constable. 

High demand, driven by an increase in global metal prices, has seen churches increasingly targeted by criminal gangs, for their copper and lead.