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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — People do not always go to church for the right reasons. That’s why police conducted a seminar at the Wilmington Police Department called “Predators in the Pews” this weekend. They want to educate individuals in faith-based communities about different crimes that can occur in ministries across the area.

Police say churches often fall victim to financial scams, sexual predators, and even substance abuse. Officers want to encourage leaders in ministries to put policies in place that would prevent their communities from being victimized.

“I think because churches are set up primarily to be compassionate, giving, very sensitive, they are often times victimized,” said Police Community Resource Coordinator Linda Rawley. “People come in and take advantage of ministries. They get a lot of money out of them. They prey on the weak. So, a lot of things happen in churches because, of course, that is the place where everyone is forgiven.”

Rawley says it is important faith-based leaders protect their communities from crime. She plans to hold more seminars like this one every year.

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