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Leaders warned to secure churches amid Clarendon break-ins

Published:Friday | April 1, 2022 | 12:05 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer

Senior Superintendent of Police Glenford Miller has urged church leaders to heighten security at places of worship amid a recent spike in targeted break-ins in the parish.

Speaking at meeting of the Clarendon Ministers’ Fraternal on Monday, Miller, who heads the Clarendon Police Division, cautioned clerics to safeguard electronic equipment as thieves were likely to prey on churches, especially as the entertainment sector reopens with the retreat of the coronavirus.

Detective Sergeant Morrine Willock Gordon said the police have observed a series of church break-ins, with monitor boxes among the property taken.

“Invest in security devices to try and prevent the persons accessing this equipment. From what we are seeing, these persons that are stealing come and visit the church, scout out to see what they are looking for, see the vulnerability of the church, and they know what to look out for when they are coming back,” Miller said.

Miller encouraged religious leaders to put pride aside and report the theft, even if the perpetrator is among their flock or family.

“Don’t be embarrassed about reporting your relative when it is found out that you knew and did nothing. It will be worse,” he said.

Describing the break-ins and theft as sacrilege, Miller lamented the lack of regard for law, mankind, or God.

Among the security recommendations is the installation of grilles on buildings as well as monitor boxes, which might not prevent theft but will slow down the perpetrators, potentially increasing the likelihood of their capture.

He also proposed investment in security cameras to boost surveillance and deter criminal intent.