03:00PM, Thursday 28 May 2020
Allotments in Blackamoor Lane have suffered a spate of thefts over the past few weeks, with about £300-worth of plants stolen.
Thieves have stolen strawberry plants, a rubber plant, and a plum tree from different allotment holders, leading residents to petition the Royal Borough to add locks to the entrance gate.
“It is clear that there is a pattern of organised criminality and good quality plants are being targeted,” said Cllr Gurch Singh (Con, St Mary’s), to whom the petition was addressed.
“I have requested RBWM look into the entrance gate locks and appropriate signage, and increase community warden, along with police, patrols in the area,” he said.
“If the issue is not resolved, perhaps consider CCTV and some form of lighting around the site.”
Mr Jarnail Dhillon, who owned the stolen plum tree, said: “We’ve never had anything like this before – my brother had this allotment for 20 years, I’ve been here for seven or eight. It’s just the past four or five weeks this has been happening.
“It’s heartbreaking, really. We keep the allotment absolutely immaculate. People going along the road stop and look at the hard work we’ve done.
“I grow things for other people. I have no problem with someone asking if they can have something – I’d give it to them.”
Cllr Singh added: “I would like to plea to whoever is doing this to consider the impact their actions is having on plot-holders.
“As a proud allotment holder myself, I am acutely aware of the hard work, passion and commitment that goes into growing your own fruit and vegetables.”
The petitioners also requested that trees overshadowing the allotment are cut back as they are preventing plant growth, and to clear the fly-tipped rubbish on the site, including a fridge and a bath tub.
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