A SEDGLEY animal sanctuary has been kitted out with a much-needed security upgrade thanks to the generosity of local businesses and police.

Staff at Brockswood Animal Sanctuary were left devastated when five animals were snatched from their enclosure in May while the site was closed during lockdown.

Groups of people were also breaking in to illegally fish in the ponds and last September it was hit by arson attack which forced the Catholic Lane sanctuary to temporarily close.

The not-for-profit organisation cares for hundreds of animals, many old and rescued, and is dependent on visitors to survive.

Lockdown left the sanctuary with no income meaning the team were unable to afford vital security upgrades.

Hearing about the sanctuary's plight, PCSO Kelly White got in touch with the crime prevention team at West Midland Police who enlisted the help of Dudley businesses to help boost security.

Local security firms and marketing company OMG managed to donate goods and services worth £5,000.

Mesh fencing, padlocks and CCTV cameras were gifted to the sanctuary and the gaps in the fence line have now been plugged.

The main gates, paddocks and outbuildings have high security padlocks in place and the walls and fences have been fortified with defender strips.

CCTV now also covers the fishing pool and animal pens.

Malvern Gazette:

Neil Swann, director of Brockswood Animal Sanctuary, said: “I’m really impressed with the police as they’ve managed to secure us a lot of help at no cost to the charity or West Midlands Police - the support from them has been amazing.

“But most of all I’m blown away by the generosity of people living in Dudley and the companies that have donated their products and services. Sadly it’s a level of security that no animal sanctuary should need, but we are relieved now that we have one less thing to worry about."

Inspector Pete Sandhu, from Dudley Police, said: "We’re proud to have helped Brockswood Animal Sanctuary; they’re a valued community asset providing local families with access to animals that they otherwise might not see.

“The new security measures will undoubtedly prevent further incidents, but the tangible benefits don’t stop there. The kindness of everyone involved has helped to secure the future of the sanctuary for years to come, which is fantastic news for everyone in Dudley and the Black Country.”

The sanctuary reopened to visitors last month with social distancing measures in place.