Allotments in Bishop's Cleeve targeted for scrap metal thefts
ALLOTMENTS are being targeted for metal theft. Scrap metal is being stolen from the Nortenham allotments in Bishop's Cleeve, with £500-worth of equipment taken in one incident.
Bishop's Cleeve parish council confirmed they used to provide a padlock for the main gate, but stopped because the lock was constantly being cut off with bolt cutters.
Peter Lightfoot, chairman of the allotments committee, said: "Despite repeated requests to plot holders to close the gate when the last person left, this was never done.
"With regards to security we have erected physical barriers to prevent vehicles accessing the pathways between the plots, and are obliged to allow pedestrian access at all times as there is a public right of way across the allotment site."
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A resident, who did not want to be named, said: "People have been smashing the locks and the result is that it is relatively unsecure. Every time people forget the combination, they just break the lock.
"If they have to come in, and if the gate was secured then this would never have happened, but anybody can just drive in."
Allotment holder Paul Fairbank said thefts of metal gardening tools from the sheds in the village's sites were causing problems, and urged the parish council to "maintain some sort of security on the sites".
He said: "There isn't any security there at the moment, but we also have to be sensible and not leave anything valuable in our sheds."
A Gloucestershire police spokesman said: "No incidents of theft have been reported to the police.
"Officers regularly patrol the area but we would also encourage anyone to report suspicious activity to the police.
"We would much rather receive calls of suspicious circumstances that turn out to be legitimate than miss the opportunity to prevent a crime or arrest thieves."