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Witney church considers CCTV system after break-ins
THE bells of St Mary’s Church in Witney fell silent for a week after an attempted break-in damaged its tower door.
This year burglars have twice targeted the 13th century building, in Church Green, forcing it to pay out thousands of pounds for repair work.
Evidence of people trying to break into the main church through a back door was discovered on Monday, when police also found signs of cannabis use.
Bellringers were also unable to use the tower door during a week in January after the lock was damaged in an attempted break-in.
The two incidents follow £1,000 worth of damage caused by lead thieves over Christmas 2011.
That prompted the church to install roof alarms and special ‘wet’ paint to deter thieves.
Now they are looking into setting up a CCTV system.
Rector the Rev Toby Wright, pictured left with district warden Charles Smith at the tower door, said: “It is very disappointing when we are trying to open ourselves up and be a big part of the community.
“It has a real effect on our day-to-day running.”