Police say there have been over 35 shed burglaries in Driffield over the past few weeks. Officers are asking ask allotment holders and residents to do as much as they can to help reduce the chance of becoming a victim of crime. If you see a crime taking place please call the police immediately on 999. If you are able to help identify those responsible please contact Humberside Police on the non-emergency number 101. Help yourself and your allotment site to stay safe and secure during the summer months.
Allotment Crime Prevention Guide
Humberside Police and Neighbourhood Watch Partners are committed to reducing crime in the East Riding of Yorkshire and that includes reducing any crime committed on the region’s allotments. By working together we can reduce any incidents that affect you and the other allotment users and you can assist us by following the advice contained in this ‘crime prevention guide’.
Fencing should be in good condition, open railed/welded mesh 2m high with no gaps
Consider planting thorny shrubs inside fence at low level to deter climbing. They contribute to biodiversity (birds) but remember they may shade nearby planting
Gates should be securely locked out of hours and have anti-climb features
Shrubs/trees adjacent to fencing/gates should not provide climbing aids
Vehicle access should be controlled to prevent fly-tipping (collapsible bollards)
Good levels of lighting are advised especially if allotments have a level of surveillance from members of the public i.e. walkways, adjacent properties and main roads (if electricity supply is available).
If shed alarms are in use, consider nuisance value to adjacent properties and have recognised procedures in place in the event that the alarms are activated.
If secluded, consider GPS alarms or similar.
Weatherproof signs, which are clearly visible to users and passers-by, which display ‘rules’, opening hours, contact details of allotment provider and how to report crimes/ASB.
Any installed cameras?
Are they monitored/recordable?
Signage in place to warn/deter?
Maintenance (tenancy agreements)
Is adequate information provided on what is expected of allotment holders regarding their responsibilities?
Are tenancies regularly reviewed regarding maintaining shed security and upkeep etc?
What enforcement actions are available to the Allotment Committee? Consider using them.
Are they sited within view of passers by/vehicles/occupied properties?
Are the doors/frames/walls in good condition?
Hinges protected, pad bars (hasp & staple) secured with threaded coach bolts and back plates or large back washers
Close shackled or shrouded padlocks used?
Are (opening) windows secured with locks – if not, consider boarding over?
Line floor and walls with plywood sheeting to make stronger and more resistant to attack
Fix chains/anchor points to walls/floor to secure heavy/valuable items and tools. If no heavy items are available to chain tools to, fill a bucket with concrete and embed masonry chain
Visibly paint/mark property with postcode or other identifying marks. Note serial numbers and record/register on www.immobilise.com
Consider setting up an ‘asset register’ for the whole allotment scheme with a designated ‘recorder’ responsible for maintaining the record and registering valuables
Consider investing in one large secure metal alarmed container for the storage of valuable items for all allotments
Consider holding regular property marking days involving the Local Police and other agencies
Try to avoid leaving expensive electrical items and tools in your shed;
Where possible use tamper proof screws on locks and hinges or drill out heads of screws once fixed in place
Need to consider property marking of stock (rubber stamping)
Carry out regular stock takes
Cash should never be left on the premises
Display that the till or money drawer is empty
Consider security of the fabric of building including the roof of the shop as a possible entry point
Consider introducing an “allotment watch” - further advice can be obtained from your Local Crime Reduction Adviser in your Neighbourhood Policing Team.
Recycling Bins/Composters/large containers
Sited away from fence lines to reduce ability to use as a climbing aid over fences and hedges.
Most young people do not commit acts of vandalism and/or other crimes but are often assumed to be responsible for the problems on the allotments.
Ensuring that young people are involved in a positive and focused way can encourage an increased sense of ownership and value of the facilities and this will hopefully help to reduce problems as well as removing the misconceptions about the majority of young people.
Better still, if they actually have a plot themselves they will discourage their peers from causing trouble. Events such as open days, offering tours and donations of surplus plants and products will assist as well.
All incidents however small should be reported so that we are aware of the full scale of any problems being experienced on the allotments in the East Riding.
Dial 999 - In an emergency
It’s an emergency if a crime is being committed or has just been witnessed, there is a risk of injury, or a risk of serious damage to property.