Heritage and listed properties are prime targets for crime. In recent research, English Heritage found that in a single year, 18.7% of all listed buildings had been physically affected by crime, with lead and metal thefts being the most common. Vandalism and theft of personal possessions are also on the rise.
The theft of artefacts from heritage buildings, museums and galleries is a problem that affects institutions throughout the world. One estimate suggests that pictures and sculptures worth more than £100 million are stolen each year in the UK alone.