Skip to main content

Advice and Guidance

We recognise that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is creating particular practical challenges for people and organisations responsible for historic assets. For example, with many historic buildings and sites now closed to the public, they may be vulnerable to damage or a target for heritage crime. Other concerns may arise as the emergency continues. This page gathers together practical advice and guidance to help owners to respond to the issues that they might encounter during the crisis.

If you are responsible for historic buildings that are not currently in use because of COVID-19 restrictions, there are some measures you can take to keep them safe.
 

  • Turn off water, gas and electricity supplies, but maintain a supply to any intruder alarms and security systems. Make sure that these systems are maintained.
  • Check your insurance cover.
  • Keep a regular eye on the property. If possible, arrange a weekly visit to check building condition and security, whilst following the latest government guidelines on travel and the movement of people.

The Church in Wales has issued specific guidance on the care and use of church buildings, which may be helpful.

General advice on coping during this period is also available from individual denominations. Cytûn have helpfully gathered together the links.

Regrettably, a small minority of people may take advantage of building and site closures to commit crime that affects heritage.

If you're concerned about crime or anti-social behaviour affecting historic sites, please Call 999 in an emergency if:

  • a crime is in progress
  • someone suspected of a crime is nearby
  • there is danger to life or property
  • violence is being used or threatened.

Call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response, such as:

  • when property or part of a scheduled monument has been stolen or damaged and the suspect is no longer at the scene
  • if you suspect unlawful metal detecting is happening in your neighbourhood
  • to give the police information about crime or anti-social behaviour in your area.

101 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you think the property being damaged is a listed building, contact your local authority’s Conservation Department to make them aware.

If you think damage is taking place to a scheduled monument, in addition to contacting 101 please notify Cadw by email at cadw@gov.wales marking your email “Heritage Crime”.

Information on all designated assets (listed buildings and scheduled monuments) in Wales can be found on our online map Cof Cymru

If you need to report a crime concerning maritime heritage, please contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (if the crime is in progress, call 999 first).

Crimestoppers

To pass on information about criminal activity and remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by visiting their online information giving page.

You will never have to give a formal statement, talk to police or be a witness in court, and you could receive a reward of up to £1,000 if the information you provide leads to the arrest and charge of at least one person. The Crimestoppers line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Membership organisations such as the Heritage Trust Network or the Listed Property Owners’ Club, professional bodies such as the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, and amenity societies such as the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Victorian Society continue to act as advocates for our heritage. Many of these organisations continue to offer an advisory service even while their offices are closed. Check their websites for more information.

WCVA (Welsh Council for Voluntary Action) has usefully collated all of its COVID-19 guidance and resources for voluntary organisations. The WCVA website also has a page for COVID-19 updates and news.