Watch: CCTV appears to show vandals smashing church windows

Still from CCTV of a group in historic porch of Pulham St Mary Church.

Still from CCTV of a group in historic porch of Pulham St Mary Church. - Credit: Clayton Hudson

Police are investigating CCTV footage which appears to show vandals smashing historic windows at a Norfolk church.

Officers have launched an investigation after the damage was caused at Pulham St Mary Church.

Offenders broke four panes of glass in the leaded porch windows of the church on The Street in the south Norfolk village at some point between Tuesday, February 22 and Thursday, February 24.

Damaged window at Pulham St Mary Church.

Damaged window at Pulham St Mary Church. - Credit: Clayton Hudson

Footage from a camera placed in the church vestibule captures a group of five young people, including three boys and two girls. 

At least one of the youths appears to punch the area of leaded windows where the damage occurred.

Still from CCTV appearing to show the smashing of windows in historic porch of Pulham St Mary Church.

Still from CCTV appearing to show the smashing of windows in historic porch of Pulham St Mary Church. - Credit: Clayton Hudson

Clayton Hudson, district councillor for the Pulhams, and who manages the CCTV system at the church, said the damage had been the latest in a spate of vandalism in the village. 

He said: “Over the last month we have seen damage occurring.

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"There were incidents back in January where there was damage to a window caused by someone using a bouncing ball and there has been vandalism at the Pennoyer Centre in the village with plants being pulled up and signs thrown about.

Police at Pulham St Mary Church

Police at Pulham St Mary Church following the latest vandalism. - Credit: Clayton Hudson

“It’s generally low level anti-social behaviour but what happened this time with someone smashing a window by punching it is a step up to the point where it is now criminal damage.”

Police have so far made no arrests but are appealing for witnesses or anyone who may have seen or heard any suspicious activity in the area in the relevant period to get in touch.

Mr Hudson said: “I appreciate the police need to investigate and deal with it, but I just feel if the community doesn’t call it out it will carry on occurring. 

District councillor Clayton Hudson who will chair a meeting over hyperfast broadband in Pulham St Ma

District councillor Clayton Hudson. - Credit: South Norfolk Council

“From my point of view it’s not necessarily seeing anyone charged, it is more about getting these young people to acknowledge that they’ve done wrong.

“These young people obviously live in the local community but they are damaging a community asset which is hundreds of years old."

The St Mary the Virgin church is thought to date back to 1253.

Its impressive porch, built about 1478, was described by renowned architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner as “something phenomenal”.

The renowned historic porch at St Mary the Virgin in Pulham St Mary

The renowned historic porch at St Mary the Virgin in Pulham St Mary date back to about 1478. - Credit: Geograph/Evelyn Simak

There were 35 cases of criminal damage to churches in Norfolk reported to police last year. 

Any witnesses or anyone with any information should contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting crime reference number 36/14394/22.