Friday, 2 September 2011

Anti-social behaviour and worse - Making a difference.

There have been several incidents of theft, vandalism and anti-social behaviour recently on our sites.  So maybe now is a good time to re-visit advice we posted here at the beginning of this year.
  • If you see someone threatening or attacking another person or damaging property, such as breaking glass on a greenhouse or breaking into a shed, call 999. 
  • If the incident is less serious, including, say, a group of people on a plot who obviously shouldn't be there, call 0845 60 60 24 7. 
  • Please always report any damage you find on your own plot to the police and encourage your neighbours to do the same.
  • In cases where damage has been done or tools or produce stolen, it can be helpful  to let the Allotments Officer know about it, and please do report it at the Shop on the Scarcroft site, where you can pick up a card with the relevant contact numbers and e-mail addresses.  The Association keeps a record of incidents reported to them and this is passed on to our local PCSO, but all incidents should first be reported to the police directly.

The police may not be able to do anything about non immediate crimes, unless there are witnesses, but telling them about what crime is happening on the plots with as much detail as possible about what, when and where, helps them build up a picture of the key times and areas and allows them to adjust their patrolling patterns accordingly.  You can make a difference to the level of crime on our plots by doing the following:
  • don't leave any valuables in your sheds or hidden on your plots
  • mark any tools you do leave on your plot so that they are less easy to sell on
  • don't leave petrol on your plot as it can be used to set fire to sheds
  • don't leave weedkiller on your plots as it can be used to vandalise other plots
  • either leave your sheds and greenhouses unlocked or lock them with a very sturdy lock
  • get to know your neighbours and challenge people you don't recognise (if you feel safe to do so).  Remember most paths on the sites are not public rights or way so people are trespassing if they are not going to visit a plot.
  • always take your phone with you when you go to your plot so you can call the police if you see vandalism in action or call a friend to come and join you if you feel threatened
  • make friends with your local dog walkers as they can be our eyes and ears early in the morning and later in the evening when fewer plot holders are around
  • display the 'there are no valuables in this shed' sign on your shed - these are available free from the allotment shop
  • visit your plot regularly so, if you are the victim of a crime you are able to give more accurate information as to when it happened
It's very upsetting when these things happen.  We won't ever stop it completely. but we can help the police to reduce the number of incidents and follow them up.


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