Thursday 20 June 2024
16.8 C

Residents urged to protect against allotment crime as season approaches

Residents across the county are urged to be on their guard against allotment crime as the summer months approach.

Nottinghamshire Police is issuing a range of crime prevention advice for plot holders to help deter instances of anti-social behaviour, vandalism and theft as allotment sites become active.

The use of high-value equipment in gardens and allotments during summer is tempting to a seasonal offender, so as the warmer months approach, Nottinghamshire Police’s crime prevention officers are encouraging allotment plot holders to help protect their property from opportunistic thieves.

In previous years, crime prevention and neighbourhood policing officers have visited allotments where issues have been identified and provided support, with further engagement set to be carried out in at-risk and affected areas.

Allotment holders should always report an incident as soon as possible so that all agencies involved in the reduction of crime and disorder are aware of the scale of any problems being experienced on allotments and policing resources can be allocated appropriately.

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To best assist the police following an incident, please include location information, such as landmarks, a phone’s GPS location, or What3words app coordinates for rural areas.

Photos, dash cam video, and as much detail as possible about what you have seen and heard are also useful to develop an investigation, such as descriptions of anyone or vehicles – including make, model, colour, number plate registration, and direction of travel.

Crime prevention officer Yvonne Pickersgill said: “As weather throughout the UK reaches higher temperatures and the lighter nights are among us the window to commit crime increases.

“Allotments can be the target of criminals when valuable tools and equipment are left unattended and on display with plots in secluded areas not overlooked by residential properties.

“We would like our horticultural communities to come together and share information and best practice amongst allotment users.

“This type of crime is taken seriously, and I am aware of the impact this can have when someone’s pride and joy allotment is disturbed, with equipment that is expensive to replace when taken or damaged.”

How to keep your allotment safe this summer

  • Ensure the allotments are surrounded by a two-metre-tall barrier in good condition with no gaps, ideally with anti-climb features
  • Thorny shrubbery is ideal to be planted surrounding the border to act as a natural deterrent and prevent anyone from climbing over
  • If the allotments are overlooked by neighbours, ensure there is a sufficient level of considerate lighting to help with natural surveillance of the area. Do not install lighting if the allotments are remote, as this can assist thieves
  • Ensure items that are close to the border that could assist climbing, such as bins or tree stumps, are removed
  • Use closed shackle, sold secure, police-approved padlocks and hasps to BS-3261 standards on gated entrances
  • Consider the use of alarms and CCTV to protect sheds and storage facilities
  • Use clear, visible, and weatherproof signage that is mounted at height to prevent tampering to advertise the use of CCTV in the area or Neighbourhood Watch groups
  • Avoid leaving valuable items on your allotment and consider marking property
  • Board the window of the shed if items are to be left so temptation is kept to a minimum. Alternatively, paint the window and apply anti-shatter film to reinforce the panel
  • Sheds should have protective hinges with tamper-proof screws and bolts, reinforcing where practical the inside of the door and frame at the hinge and locking areas. Two locks should be fitted to the shed door, one a quarter of the way down and again similarly from the bottom
  • Ensure your plots are kept neat and tidy as a well-maintained site is less likely to be targeted

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