Allotment Watch

Coming to a plot near you

By Melanie Matthews

Photo:Allotment watch is already successful in other areas - this shows a Kent police initiative

Allotment watch is already successful in other areas - this shows a Kent police initiative

Allotment watch is a community based crime prevention scheme which works on the same principles as Neighbourhood Watch but is directed at allotment holders.

Members can help foster a community spirit and a belief in the area's ability to tackle problems. At the same time you will feel more secure, knowing that gardening communities and surrounding neighbours are keeping an eye on your property as well as their own.

BHAF's Plotholder liaison officer Gary Johnson met with PC Alisa Funnell who is looking to start an allotment watch scheme in Brighton and Hove.  Here's a message from Gary posted on our facebook page last week:

Hi Everyone, so I had a very positive meeting with Pc Funnell who is setting up allotment watch, we discussed what the police and the BHAF together are aiming to do.

  • The local PCSO's are to contact site reps to obtain site keys so that Hi-Vis patrols can be carried out.
  • There are to be property marking days arranged.
  • There will be allotment watch posters going up on site notice boards and gates asap, as well as an information leaflet given out.
  • A monthly news letter from allotment watch sent out to all plot holders who are members of allotment watch via email. 

If you wish to sign up to allotment watch then please email: allotments@sussex.pnn.police.uk

Gary Johnson, BHAF Plotholder Liaison Officer

Remember due to data protection rules we cannot give the police your email address - so if you want to join allotment watch you must email them to sign up.

If you have any crimes taking place at your site, it is really important that you report them. Crime reports help the police build up a fuller picture and ensure that resources are allocated to the right place. All information they receive is useful and you can call the non-emergency line on 101..

Allotment Watch advice:

  • If you have a shed, ensure it is of good quality construction and state of repair
  • Expensive items should be chained to a ground anchor or post and securely fitted to the floor
  • Photographs of expensive items and a record of their model and serial number will assist in their recovery if stolen
  • Fit a strong hasp and staple secured to the door and frame with coach bolts and reinforced on the inside with washers. Use a good quality closed shackle padlock
  • Windows can be secured and obscured by fitting internal bars or grille and net curtains
  • Door hinges should also be secured with coach bolts reinforced on the inside with washers
  • Keep doors and windows locked
  • A battery operated audible alarm can be used to deter intruders
  • Security mark items of value with your postcode and house number or name. Do not leave valuable equipment unattended
  • Signs advertising the fact that your property is marked may help to deter criminals
  • Where vandals and criminals are getting through, or over fences, prickly plants are a good additional barrier
  • Areas which appear uncared for attract vandalism. Make sure your allotment and site is kept clean and free from rubbish and graffiti

There is advice written by a plotholder on our website here (please note this does differ slightly from the Allotment Watch advice - we recommend simply not to keep valuables on site, and if you don't, then not to lock your shed, however if you ARE going to keep expensive items on site, we fully support their suggestions of how to keep them as secure as possible)

This page was added by Melanie Matthews on 15/04/2013.