Even with high secure fencing, there’s no guarantee you won’t become a victim of allotment crime. Look out for strangers wandering around the allotment, looking in sheds, climbing the gate or fences and children not with an adult.
You shouldn’t put yourself at risk but if you are suspicious report to Kent Police. In an emergency or to report a crime in progress ring 999, otherwise contact them using their non-emergency number on 101. Try to give a full description and any vehicle registration number. You can also notify the Council’s Parks Team on 01892 526121 or report it to the Community Safety Unit.
- Avoid storing high value garden and power tools in your shed. If possible, take your most valuable items home with you, however if this is not an option make sure your shed is very secure.
- Visibly mark all removable items such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and garden furniture with your postcode and house number. Alternatively use an ultra violet marker or property marking system such as SmartWater or SelectaDNA. Obscure windows with frosted adhesive vinyl or similar, so that a thief cannot see what's inside your shed.
- Use a hasp and staple, or ‘padbar’ to secure your shed. Secured with coach bolts padbars cannot be undone with a screwdriver or spanner. Lock the hasp over the staple with a closed shackled padlock. An alarmed padlock is even better. All of these items can be purchased at DIY stores.
- Shed door and window hinges can be secured with ‘clutch head’ or ‘coffin’ screws which can only be removed using a special tool.
- Look at the condition of your shed – reinforce sides with plywood, and if replacing your shed look at metal or plastic alternatives.
- Fit a battery operated shed alarm. These are not expensive and can be bought from most DIY stored.
- Grow prickly plants such as Holly or Juniper around your shed, especially by the window.
- Prop your shed at each corner to prevent vandals from tipping it over.
- Do not leave any flammable liquids in your shed – they’re very tempting to vandals.
- Always lock gates after arriving and when leaving, and don’t leave any keys lying around.
- Don’t pile rubbish or stack wood etc by fences as this assists intruders to climb the fences.
- Take rubbish home with you or to the local tip, this removes the temptation for arsonists.