Security measures have been ramped up and patrols will be increased at an allotment site in Wrexham following a spate of crime in recent months.
The Wrexham Council-run Erddig Road Allotment has been targeted more than a dozen times over the past couple of months, with tools and vegetables stolen, sheds broken into, and criminal damage reported.
As a result, CCTV cameras and extra lighting have been installed at the allotment, with alarms being placed on sheds in a bid to deter any further crime.
The council will also be painting fences with anti-vandal paint – a thick, non-drying and sticky paint designed to protect property from intruders – as well as erecting higher gates and fencing around the site.
Branches will also be cut back to prevent people climbing in.
Yesterday, a crime prevention event was held at the site by PCSO John Davies along with Wrexham Council allotment officer, Nicola Ellis, with shed vibration alarms and padlocks issued to allotment holders.
PCSO Davies said: “Thefts are a continuing problem at the Erddig Road allotment, which is why we have been working with holders to improve awareness of the vulnerabilities at the site.
“During October and November, we received 14 reports of thefts and criminal damage at the site.
“As a result, targeted patrols will be conducted on the site on a regular basis, including day and during the night.
“These crimes might seem minor to some, but I am very aware of the impact this has on allotment holders, who work hard to maintain their plot.”
Key prevention tips
Sheds and outbuildings
Keep them in good condition and locate them in a visible position.
Use high quality locks, doors and hinges and ideally block off all windows.
Use tamper proof screws or drill out screw heads.
Visibly mark property and record serial numbers for free on www.immobilise.com, the police’s national property register, to aid recovery of any stolen items.
If you do not use any equipment or tools on a regular basis – take them home.
A well-lit allotment is less attractive to thieves
Regularly check all fencing to make sure it’s in good condition. Ideally your fence should be 2 metres high and form a solid barrier with no gaps.
Gates should always be securely locked and be of a design that makes climbing difficult.
Check there are no bins, composters, trees or bushes that can be used for climbing over the fence.
Consider planting thorny bushes inside the fence to deter entry.
Make sure there is a procedure in place to respond quickly to an alarm.
Install clearly visible, weatherproof signs alerting passers-by to the opening hours, rules, contact details, all property on site is security marked, any CCTV cameras and how to report a crime.