Allotment holders count costs of vandals

ALLOTMENT holders are today facing a heft bill after vandals in Hadleigh torched three sheds, pushed over a fourth, and damaged fencing protecting some of the plots.

ALLOTMENT holders are today facing a heft bill after vandals in Hadleigh torched three sheds, pushed over a fourth, and damaged fencing protecting some of the plots.

Keen gardeners were back working on their patches yesterday after the attack, but were frustrated by the damage which was carried out earlier in the day.

Allotments secretary Rusty Chisholm said: “It is all very pointless and has caused a great deal of trouble for us.

“One of the sheds contained six vintage rotavators and one modern machine. They are all worth about a grand each so that is £7,000 worth of damage before you start looking at the sheds themselves and the other tools in them.

“What is really frustrating though is that people have lost their hand tools. They think 'I'll just get my spade' and then realise it isn't there any more.

“There's no point to this damage. It can't have done the vandals any good.”

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The attacks happened at about 4.30am yesterday and the Suffolk Fire Service confirmed they were being treated as arson.

Mr Chisholm said there had been a spate of vandalism in the allotments a few years ago, but an increased police presence and a good relationship with the owners of nearby homes had meant nothing had happened there for some time.

He said: “The police come around just enough for the youngsters to be aware that they could be watched and the people around here are very good about reporting anything suspicious.

“But you don't find many people looking out of their windows at half past four in the morning, and on this occasion the police were not around. It was obviously arson - sheds don't set themselves on fire at that hour of the day.”

N How can arson like this be prevented? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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