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World News

Churches recorded more than 10 crimes a day during the pandemic, new figures reveal

by Kelly Valencia

More than ten crimes a day were recorded at churches during the pandemic, according to the Countryside Alliance.

Southeast England was the worst hit with the Met Police recording 575 crimes, followed by Sussex with 367 and Kent with 209.

An overall 4,170 crimes were recorded in 2020, with thefts or burglaries (1,356) as the most common type of crime followed by criminal damage (1,688) and violent attacks (823).

Mo Metcalf-Fisher, a spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance, told the Daily Mail it was “a grim reality that many churches are treated as easy targets by criminals”.

Earlier this year, the Scottish government opened a £500,000 fund to help protect places of worship from religiously-motivated attacks.

Meanwhile in Europe, an increase in hate crimes against Christians was also seen during the pandemic.

According to The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), at least 980 hate crimes were recorded during 2020, a 70 per cent rise from those documented in 2019.

“Graffiti and vandalism against places of worship, the desecration of cemeteries and arson attacks against churches are some of the more common types of crimes motivated by bias against Christians”, the report reads.

Poland has seen the biggest increase with almost 250 hate crimes recorded, followed by Germany and France.

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