PEOPLE living near historically important sites are being encouraged to keep an eye out for damage or suspicious behaviour as reports of heritage crimes decrease.
Dyfed-Powys Police has seen a drop in reports of crimes at historic monuments and sites of scientific interest since restrictions were imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inspector Reuben Palin, force lead for heritage crime, believes the decrease in reports might be due to fewer people visiting these sites and noticing damage or graffiti.
He has asked people to keep a lookout for any changes if they carry out their daily exercise in an area of interest.
“As we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, our policing efforts are concentrated on ensuring people are adhering to government guidelines, and responding to reports of crime,” he said.
“As such, our neighbourhood policing teams are not patrolling heritage sites as regularly as in recent months. Visitor numbers to historically important areas are also decreasing due to the restrictions on movements, and we are concerned that damage to monuments or crimes such as the theft of lead from church, might go unnoticed.
“We are appealing to people who live in rural areas, near historic buildings that are currently closed, or ancient sites, just to keep an eye out while they are out walking or running.
“If you do come across any damage, or anything you think might indicate a crime has taken place, please do contact police and report it as a possible heritage crime.
“We would urge you to remember the guidelines around social distancing while you are out and about, and do not travel specifically to a beauty spot for your exercise.”
To find out where historic sites are, you can visit Cof Cymru and Archwilio. Only visit these areas if doing so would not breach legislation.