Influential figures in Essex’s heritage industry came together on 23rd of April at Stow Maries First World War Aerodrome to launch a new police initiative aimed at protecting the past. Heritage Watch is an Essex Police led partnership between agencies that are committed to protecting our heritage, as well as members of the public who want to help preserve our heritage.
The watch scheme looks to maintain and preserve important places of interest, encouraging vigilance and reporting of suspicious activity around sites. This is to prevent any theft or crime that may damage assets beyond recovery, which may lead to the loss of a piece of history for this and future generations. Heritage Watch locations would include ancient earth works and archeological sites, listed buildings, museums, galleries, religious buildings, historic visitor attractions and others.
Dominic Petre of the Historic Houses Association said he was ‘very pleased’ about the initiative, adding:
When heritage is lost, it is lost forever. Crimes against heritage are not just crimes against the owner. They are crimes against future generations and culture in general.
Chief Superintendent Carl O’Malley said:
In Essex we have some really significant sites, from the Roman remains in Colchester to Audley End House in Saffron Walden. The key element for any watch scheme is to involve a broad range of different partners and bring them together. Through expert advice and assistance, we can all help one another. It is about communication, sharing, understanding and reporting.
For further information contact your local Essex Watch Liaison Officer using the Police 101 non–emergency telephone number.