The authors are very sorry to have to report that there’ve been recent waves, including last night, of sheds and cubicles being forcibly entered. In some cases things have been stolen, in others not, but there’ve also been reports of someone’s having defecated in sheds or elsewhere.
There’re also very recent accounts of the Western Avenue gate having been left wide open. A number of these relate to a person on a motorcycle’s leaving the site at about 2000-2030 in the evening – on more than one occasion – leaving the gate fully open. Early morning visitors have also found the gate(s) open or unlocked, suggesting that they may have been left like that all night.
It’s important that the person(s) doing this be identified, and so PPAA Committee ask everyone to be vigilant.
Whether the two facts are related or not is unclear, but obviously leaving a gate unlocked is inviting this very thing.
Update 01 06 23: we have reports that masked/balaclava-clad men climbed into the site and broke into sheds. We are told that it was via the damaged wall with Llandaff Fields. One – relating to about 2200 Sunday last – mentioned three twenty-ish males, two white, one of colour who ran away when they realised that people were about. However, we would strongly advise anyone who has been the victim of such a crime to report it promptly. The police will only act on direct evidence from a victim or from a witness so there is no point whatsoever in anyone’s only telling the Committee in that regard. (These crimes would appear to fit an annual seasonal pattern, also with householders reporting break-ins to garden sheds etc.) We repeat our usual advice that expensive items such as power tools or anything else of high value density should not be left on site, and that damage can be avoided by leaving sheds unlocked.
As evidence of how determined these almost nightly criminal onslaughts are, here’s a picture of the RCG container office door this morning after a further break-in, despite security bars:
4 thoughts on “Site security, shed break-ins etc.”
Just a couple of thoughts…..
I believe a small tube of superglue was taken from our shed……odd, but could suggest it’s about solvent abuse.
Maybe a sign on the gate and ensuring plot holders don’t store paint, glue, cleaning products etc in their sheds….??
With the gate being left open…..the lock can be fiddly and so maybe it needs a bolt so that even if the lock isn’t locked, the gate won’t blow open….??
Happy to help fitting a bolt if needed.
Thank you very much for your kind offer, Kev.
In some ways the facility to close the gate but unlocked is undesirable, as it tempts people to leave it unlocked for friends coming later etc., as apparently happens from time-to-time with the southeast gate. When the WA gate used to stick it was sometimes wedged shut but unlocked too, presumably for that purpose. The gate should always be locked immediately on entering or leaving as per terms of tenancy.
One of the ideas received is to leave an extender tool for the key hanging on a chain by the lock, which would be fine unless the key were on a key ring, but still far better than nothing! At least one plot holder has an ingeniously-modified key with an extended stem.
Quite a few people on allotments keep a slab of beer or cider cans in their sheds during the hot weather – see my reply earlier to to Christine – but as you say intruders may well be looking for other intoxicants too . On the other hand kids love superglue for practical “jokes”…
Yes, people might usefully put such notices on their shed doors though.
Yes important to lock the gate. But can I suggest improvement to the Western Avenue gate. I find it very difficult to open and shut from inside, I’m sure less able people find it even more difficult.
Agreed, Wyn. It’s been on the “to do” list for the – presently six – Committee members ever since the new gate was fitted and the problem arose, but other more pressing matters keep arising (falling trees, repairs to breaches in fencing, proliferation of overgrown plots etc.)
It’s not actually within the remit of PPAA. The Council under the LMA are responsible for the gates, but it appears that unless PPAA organise the modifications – which would require significant metalwork – they simply won’t happen. Suggestions have been proposed for consideration however.