Police to step up patrols at Gainford allotments after series of thefts from sheds (From The Advertiser Series)
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Police to step up patrols at Gainford allotments after series of thefts from sheds
POLICE patrols are to be stepped up at a village's allotments after the local parish council was told almost every shed on the site had been broken into during the winter months.
Gainford and Langton Parish Council clerk Martin Clark told members this week thieves had made off with a number of tools.
“We have said to people not to keep things in sheds over the winter,” said Mr Clark.
“Almost every shed on there has been broken into during the last three months.”
He added: “There has been a wheelbarrow taken and other tools, such as a rake.
“Allotment holders were advised that they should not keep anything there over winter when no-one was going up there.
“At this time of year, every allotment is a target.”
Acting Sergeant Harry Marsh, of Barnard Castle police, confirmed there had been a report of a shed being broken into on February 19, when a number of hand tools - including trowels, a Stanley knife and pliers - had been taken.
He said it was quite possible other thefts from the allotments had gone unreported.
“If it is someone messing around and taking something of low value, quite often people don't bother telling us about it.”
He added: “In this instance, because the issue has been raised at the parish council meeting, we will consider this as our next PACT priority and there will be extra police patrols.”
Act Sgt Marsh urged gardeners to remain vigilant with the onset of lighter nights and more activity at allotments.
“There is the potential for fairly expensive equipment to be stored, so allotment holders should secure their sheds so they are not easily accessed and should not leave equipment lying around so it is a temptation to criminals.”
* The annual Gainford allotment rent collection will take place in the village hall on Saturday, March 23, between 10am and noon.
Mr Clark told the meeting some allotment holders had given up their plots, mainly due to moving out of the village.
The cost of plots with water has been reduced for the coming year to £63 for a full plot and £33 for a half plot.
Anyone wishing to give up their plot should contact Mr Clark as soon as possible.