PCC Barry Coppinger recently visited Thornhill allotments to distribute padlock alarms to allotment holders
Allotment holders are being warned to keep their plots secure as part of Cleveland Police’s ongoing burglary campaign, aimed at targeting and disrupting burglars. Since 1st June this year there have been 49 allotment burglaries across the Force area.
Over the summer, police cadets and neighbourhood officers have carried out Operation Scarecrow, which involved visiting allotment sites to hand out free padlocks to allotment holders.
The padlocks, funded by Barry Coppinger, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, are aimed at assisting with tackling allotment crime, alongside crime prevention advice.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “Burglary is an intrusive and emotive crime which can leave people shocked and violated. It can also have financial implications for victims.
“By highlighting the issues around allotment crime, and providing things like padlocks to owners in an attempt to deter offenders, we hope to reduce the number of burglaries and the number of victims who are affected by this crime.”
Acting Detective Chief Inspector Glen Westmoreland said: “Burglaries regularly occur at allotment sites due to the lure of often valuable equipment that is kept inside plots and the sheer number of premises that can be targeted at one time.
“It is really important that allotment holders keep their plots as secure as possible by removing any valuable items, padlocking doors and not leaving any tools lying around.”
Allotment crime prevention advice includes:
- Shed security - use a good quality padlock with a close shackle and hasp which does not leave fixings visible. Use bolts instead of screw fixings for greater security.
- If the shed has a window, cover it with a grille to prevent it being used as an entry point. Consider putting an old curtain across the window to restrict viewing into the shed.
- Attach hinges with bolts not screws and reinforce the area around the hinges on the inside of the shed.
- Fit a shed alarm which will activate if someone enters the shed.
- Consider fitting a shed bar across the door of the shed which gives greater protection from the padlock being attacked.
- Use visible security marking to enable easy identification of property.
- Never leave tools lying around the allotment, store them securely in your shed.
- Fasten items such as tools together with cable or chains to make them difficult to move.
- Do not keep valuable items, such as rotavators, on your allotment site.
- Most allotments may have a scheme such as ‘allotment watch’, membership of which will help everyone work towards a common goal.
- If the site has secure storage containers, use additional security inside such as anchor points, heavy duty chains and padlocks.
- Allotment sites with security gates, external boundary security etc should be self-policed by users to ensure the security measures are used.
Posted on Tuesday 25th August 2015