Chatham allotments broken into 100 times
There is not enough money to replace a fence around an allotment
site, despite it being broken into more than 100 times.
An angry plot-holder at Great South in Magpie Hall Road,
Chatham, revealed the stark crime figure at a Medway council
Andrew Birch, 44, claimed that in the last 12 months alone there
have been 100 shed break-ins at the site which has 103 plots.
The fence was reportedly condemned in 2000, and only half of it
has been replaced since, sparking safety fears.
Mr Birch said after the meeting: “My shed was broken into twice and
they took maybe £300 worth of stuff.
"My strimmer was stolen because I got a bit complacent and left
it locked in the shed.”
Yet Cllr Howard Doe (Con) told him: “I would like to wave my
magic wand and get these repairs done but unfortunately they are
“So far we have already spent £32,000 on replacing part of it
and we hope to complete the final elements as soon as we have
budgetary availability, but of course we’re running a very tight
budget this year.”
He added: “Allotments are always a target and while we do our
best to work with the police to reduce [crime], we can’t eliminate
Yet Mr Birch, of Magpie Hall Road, said: “Would he say the same
thing if we broke into his shed and took all his tools?
“Police have been very good but they’ve been coming in at 2am or
3am. A lot of people have had their sheds done two or three
Fellow plot-holder Tony Mazey, 59, of Chatham Grove, said:
“They’re saying they have no money which I think is pretty
“If it was a play area it would be sorted but allotments are at
the bottom of the ladder all the time.”
Cllr Doe told the meeting the annual fee was only £21.20 a year
despite increases, “which I don’t think is unreasonable”.
A police spokesman was unable to provide figures on how many
break-ins had been reported, but issued general advice.
It includes chaining large machines together, registering
valuables at immobilise.com, marking tools with UV pen and using
close shackle padlocks.
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