AUTHORITIES are to declare war on hooligans and thieves who vandalise historic monuments in Conisbrough, Mexborough and Denaby.
The area has seen a string of high profile crimes against some of its best known landmarks in recent years, including a historic church and two war memorials.
Now a deal has been signed which will see Doncaster Council, police, lawyers and English Heritage work more closely together to stop the damage, and prosecute those who carry it out.
Peter Davies, mayor of Doncaster, said: “Like many areas around the country Doncaster has an issue with heritage crime but the council and its partners are working hard to combat the criminals.”
In June 2010, thieves stole £20, 000 worth of lead panels from the roof of the 13th century St Peter’s Church in Conisbrough.
Reverend Alan Griffiths said: “Vandalism is a disgraceful act and often leaves the victim with a bill running into thousands of pounds.”
Just months after the attack at the church, in October 2010, a bronze plaque bearing the names of fallen soldiers was taken from a war memorial in Denaby.
In September 2011, yobs attempted to steal a plaque from Conisbrough’s war memorial. Both have since been replaced.
Sarah-Jane Hackett, secretary of the British Legion in Conisbrough and Denaby, said: “This is a problem nationwide, we are forever reading about memorials being desecrated.
“I am encouraged to see that the authorities are doing something about it.”
Doncaster Council is the first area in South Yorkshire to sign an agreement called a Heritage Crime Enforcement memorandum.
The borough has also joined the Alliance to Reduce Crime against Heritage - a network launched by English Heritage to spread anti-crime information to official bodies, heritage organisations, Church of England and local community groups.