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More Break-ins

Date posted: Thursday 8th July 2021

We had another series of shed break-ins on the night of Sunday 4th July: so far we know of around 20 sheds that were broken into, often with extensive damage to doors, windows and cladding, and tools and equipment were stolen, including a lawnmower.

This year has seen a significant rise in the amount stolen from our allotments – in the past, sheds were broken into but little was actually taken. Tools and equipment are kept in sheds at the plotholder’s own risk, and we advise that you do not leave expensive machinery on your plot overnight – although we recognise that transporting something like a lawnmower to and from your allotment each time you want to use it is hardly ideal. One option you may want to consider is buying a large, lockable tool box, as these seem to have escaped the attentions of the thieves so far – although of course there is no guarantee that this will be true in the future.

One practical step you can take if your plot has suffered damage and/or theft is to report it to the police. We strongly urge you to do so: even if the police cannot catch the thieves, they take these reports into consideration when allocating policing resources, which could help prevent future break-ins. You can make a report by phone (dial 101) or on the Met police website (www.met.police.uk); ask for the report to be passed to the local police for follow-up. Please also send this information to the committee, so we can collate it.

The committee is talking with the police and Bushy Park and looking at measures such as CCTV and defensive planting. We will also press ahead with installing more dead hedges along the side of the RPA bordered by Church Grove walk, so that passers-by cannot see into the allotments.

We will update you on any developments. In the meantime, please make sure you help make our site as secure as possible – always closing the pedestrian and vehicle gates and not allowing strangers into the allotments. We have also started a conversation on this topic in our Forum (there is a link on the front page of the website), with ideas about security and how to look for the missing tools and equipment.

Plotholders Committee
July 2021

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