REDDITCH police have stepped up their efforts to combat thefts from allotments.
A team from West Mercia’s Rural and Business Crime section were out in the area on Friday as part of a major drive across all of north Worcestershire to tackle the perennial problem of thieving from allotments.
Allotments holders have seen it all: Being shot at with pellet guns, sheds set alight and thieves somehow scrambling over gates daubed in anti-theft paint.
Worst of all they’ve had the tools of their trade stolen – rotavators, mowers, power tools, even the humble fork and spade have been taken.
Recently thieves stole thousands of pounds worth of equipment from Winyates Green allotments, leaving gardeners heartbroken.
The police though are hitting back.
With cash provided by Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, officers Laura Griffiths and Natalie Lowe visited sites across the town on Friday offering security marking to allotment holders.
“We use Smart Water which dries clear and is invisible but shines fluorescent green under ultra violet light,” said PC Griffiths.
“It also has its own genetic code which we can trace back to a specific location, in this case, Greenlands allotments,” she added.
Other marking are more overt, leaving an indelible mark on an item and making it next to impossible to sell on.
“We’re here to give the plotholders some confidence and to let them know we are takign this problem seriously,” added PC Griffiths.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “Property marking kits like SmartWater are incredibly effective at deterring crime, so it is good to see them being used to prevent allotment burglaries.
“I’m pleased to see local communities in Redditch taking the opportunity to help keep themselves safe and mark their property.”