Security - advice for the plotholder

Some tips to keep your things safe

By Melanie Matthews

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Security - advice for the plotholder' page

From Easter and the onset of the bank holiday car boot sales, to the summer holidays and too many bored teenagers, allotments can be plagued by vandalism and thefts. Fortunately most of the thieves aren't interested in your veg - but you do need to take some basic precautions to make sure the rest of your belongings stay put.

Security tips:

  • Don't lock your shed if you can bear not too (the idiots will spend hours forcing a padlock hasp, taking out a window, or kicking in the door, and only to find there is nothing valuable and then leave - most of the time they just don't want your grubby old spade!). 
  • DO NOT keep strimmers, rotavators and other expensive equipment on site.  This is particularly what the car-boot sale thieves are looking for. A few years ago we had a spate of thefts at Lower Roedale - every time someone used their strimmer it was stolen by the next day (hint - strimmers are noisy and advertise their presence! Take it home and it won't disappear the night that you use it!)
  • Don't keep axes or sledgehammers on site if you can help it. You may not mind about that skanky axe going missing, the person whose shed gets broken into may be less sanguine if it's your stolen axe that the thieves use.
  • If you absolutely do have to keep something valuable or useful to a thief on your plot, some people find it more secure NOT to keep it in their shed! At the risk of giving away secrets I have heard of tools under black tarps, under sheds, in holes in the ground or just stacked up against a tree that don't get stolen - while the ones in a shed do!
  • Take advantage of police tool-marking days, and get your tools UV-marked with your postcode and house number or name 
  • Don't bring glass on to site - the teenage vandals just love to use greenhouses for target practice - don't give them something to aim at!
  • Lock the site gates - we have keys for a reason! 

PLEASE BE VIGILANT and report break ins or anything suspicious to your site rep and the police -  who are anxious to know about every incident.  They will even finger print suitable items if necessary to see if they can get a match.  You can now report crimes by email to get a crime number which makes it a lot easier, the more crimes reported the more assistance we will get. Please help make your site safer by reporting all crime. Remember you will need to know the postcode of your site when you make a report.

To report a crime you can use the new non-emergency number 101 (keeping 999 open for urgent cases). Or email  contact.centre@sussex.pnn.police.uk.

This page was added by Melanie Matthews on 03/03/2013.