Over 70 incidents of theft or criminal damage at Wrexham’s religious buildings have been recorded since April 2011, new information has revealed.
In data obtained by Assembly Member Ken Skates under the Freedom of Information Act, Wrexham is revealed as the county in North Wales with the highest number of incidents, with 79 recorded since April 1st 2011.
The FOI requests details of every recorded theft from criminal damage offence at churches in North Wales from April 1st 2011 to April 1st 2014. Along with this the date, location / name of church and a short description of each incident is also provided.
Overall the figures reveal a total of 334 thefts and vandalism offences have taken place in North Wales over 36 months. There were more than 60 incidents in Conwy and more than 50 each in Denbighshire, Flintshire and Gwynedd.
However Anglesey has been revealed as the location with the fewest incidents, with 17 recorded.
In total there were 79 incidents recorded in Wrexham, with properties including All Saints Church, St Giles Church and an Evangelical Baptist Church all being targeted at some point in the past three years.
The last incident recorded in the requested period took place on the 27th Feburary 2014, where an unknown offender shattered a rear passenger window in the car park of the Evangelical Baptist Church.
Other recorded incidents include incidents of lead theft in several churches, hand bag thefts, offensive graffiti at Wrexham Mosque and damage to a gravestone in the Holy Trinity Church.
Speaking about the results of the FOI, Mr Skates, the Labour AM Clwyd South, said: “These incidents include charity collection boxes being stolen, dozens of thefts of lead and other metals and also handbags, purses and wallets being taken.
The police have also had reports of windows being smashed, break-ins and fires being started. I don’t know what types of people would commit such crimes. Some of them would be sickening at the best of times, but when they take place in buildings that mean so much to so many people they’re nothing short of despicable.”
He added: “I recently spent an afternoon on the beat in my constituency with one of our PCSOs, who are now a vital part of modern-day policing. They play an important role in solving crimes and ensuring people feel safe, and they are already making a difference in our communities throughout North Wales.”