Metal theft is a growing problem throughout the UK at the moment, leading to churches and other institutions seeing high-value fixtures being stolen.

Copper lightning rods and lead drainpipes are among the most in demand items of the moment, suggesting that security fencing may need to be installed to deter thieves.

Katri Link, senior press officer at Ecclesiastical Insurance, highlighted that the cost of replacing such items is often too great for churches to be able to afford.

"Boom conditions in China, India and Brazil have created an incredible demand for lead and copper. Church roofs are often the target, threatening some churches with bankruptcy," she told ENInews.

Ecclesiastical Insurance has already received 1,900 damage claims between January and August this year, compared with just ten back in 2003.

Rail services have been affected over recent months due to a rise in cable thefts, leading to severe disruptions on key parts of the country's network.

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