Churches up and down the country are being advised to install security bollards in order to protect themselves against metal thefts.

Criminal gangs are increasingly targeting churches due to the rising cost of metal, leaving many facing considerable insurance claims.

As a result, Ecclesiastical is encouraging churches to remove trees and thick foliage as well as installing other security measures to help protect themselves.

Foliage can act as a shield for thieves stealing lead from church roofs, so the insurer believes that by erecting security bollards, cars and vans can be prevented from accessing the grounds.

A spokesman for the Campaign to Protect Rural England told the Daily Telegraph: "Down the centuries and across rural England our churches have been at the centre and heart of the landscape."

Data from MEPS recently revealed that steel prices from across the world fell in October, mainly due to "mediocre" demand.

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