FORTY-SEVEN crimes were committed against Cumbrian churches in the last year.

The latest report from the Countryside Alliance examining the number of crimes against churches and other religious buildings has been released.

Criminals targeting such sites in the UK are responsible for almost 6,000 crimes in the last year alone.

Figures from 37 of the country’s 45 territorial police forces showed there were 5,831 incidents including theft, vandalism, assault, and burglary across the UK in just 12 months.

From the national figures, 47 of these crimes were committed in Cumbria.

In a report last year from the Countryside Alliance, showing combined figures from January 2017- August 2019, Cumbria Police revealed that in total 243 crimes have been recorded at churches in Cumbria.

One of these incidents dates back to September 2018 where damage was done to St George’s Church in Barrow church which cost more than £10,000 to repair.

A stained glass window to the rear of the church was damaged.

Then a couple of weeks later the same church was damaged.

Police said that damage was caused to the lightning conductor on the building, in St George’s Square, and a small fire started close by. Of this total, 16 relate to lead theft; 100 cases related to general thefts; 89 cases relating to criminal damage and 38 cases related to violence.

Cumbria is the fourth lowest in the country overall. Hertfordshire (the lowest) Derbyshire and Cleveland are the only forces to return less crimes.

This comes one year on from the Countryside Alliance’s previous report which found that more than 20,000 crimes had been committed on or at churches and religious buildings in just over two years, a Freedom of Information response revealed.