Cadw joins clamp down on heritage crime in Wales
The Welsh Government’s historic environment service, Cadw is joining forces with the police and other agencies to clamp down on heritage and cultural property crime in Wales.
The new initiative will see Cadw join with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Crown Prosecution Service and Historic England as part of ARCH: Alliance to Reduce Crime against Heritage.
The alliance has been established to tackle offences such as architectural theft, including the theft of metal and stone, criminal damage in particular vandalism, graffiti and arson, unlawful metal detecting and anti-social behaviours such as vehicle nuisance and the dumping of waste.
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said: “The fight against heritage crime requires strong collaboration between the police forces in Wales, Crown Prosecution Service and Cadw.
“We take heritage crime very seriously in Wales. Our historic environment and cultural heritage are precious and irreplaceable – we protect them for the benefit of people today and for our future generations.
“I welcome the extension of this important collaborative initiative into Wales, and I look forward to the positive impact that it will have here.
New legislation, The Historic Environment (Wales) Bill, is in its final stages of passage through the Senedd.
When it becomes law, the Bill will replace the existing Acts for the protection of monuments, listed buildings and conservation areas in Wales.
It will provide a new accessible, fully bilingual restatement of the existing laws, which will make them easier to understand and use for the better protection of the historic environment.
In the meantime, Welsh police forces are following a new strategy, demonstrated by the launch of Operation Heritage Cymru last year.
This aims for greater consistency across Wales, particularly in crime reporting, building knowledge and raising public awareness.
Cadw is supporting this initiative by providing training and specialist support to officers investigating heritage crime cases.
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