Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dane Valley Vandalism Update

The vandalism in Dane Valley appears unprecedented and is reported in this week's Thanet Gazette. Sue, who is in the thick of it and saw her husband's new allotement shed burned-down a week ago writes:

"Here we are again. five allotment gates kicked in and shed broken into last night (Friday). One padlock removed with key. You can't expect people to put up with this indefinitely. Or can you?"

I have to agree with her, protecting allotments may not be a core priority of Thanet's finest, but zero-tolerance to the vandalism that is occurring there should be. After a lad might start with burning-down a garden shed or two and work up to.. well, someone's house?

I know the council are trying hard from both sides of the political spectrum to do something about this but as I mentioned to one councillor this week, short of laying land mines and providing guard dogs roaming along the perimeter fence, I'm not sure how we can keep the vandals out?

Any ideas readers?


Anonymous said...

What a dis-heartening story. Short of the allotment holders taking it in turns to patrol the site - and then, what if they actually catch a vandal in the act ? Can they make a citizen's arrest ? What if there are several of them ? Will the police arrest the allotment holders for false imprisonment, assault etc ? All you can do is hope they get tired of this and move on to somewhere else. How I wish we could introduce a 'three strikes and you're out system'. The old, and much mentioned idea, of re-introducing national service springs to mind yet again. Feral youth ran down Quex Road last week pulling off wing mirrors and denting cars......what could be done ? Nothing, by the time the police at Maidstone took the report - over the phone - the punks were long gone. What a sad, sad time we live in.

sue said...

TDC could build the fence with money from the development of Manston Road allotments, this year instead of next. That would be a start.

Nethercourt said...

As soeone who was forced to give up an allotment due to vandalism and theft, I can only sympathise. There is very little you can physically do without leaving yourself open to prosecution by the very system designed to protect your rights!
CCTV is probably the only way to get any joy and thats not really practical in the situation. Good fencing will help, but it's only as good as it's weakest point and very, very expensive.......