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Allotments are ruined by yobs in wrecking spree
8:20pm Tuesday 28th August 2012 in News
POLICE were today trying to track down a gang of yobs who went on a wrecking spree at an allotment.
The hooligans broke into Irvine Road allotments, in Colchester, in the early hours of Saturday morning, setting fire to up to four sheds and vandalising about 30 others.
Pascale Wells, site steward at the allotments, in Prettygate, said: “This is mindless vandalism at its worst.
“It looks as though they got in, vandalised about 30 plots, and set fire to the sheds as they left.”
There are 98 plots on the site, so one in three has been affected. The owner of the burnt-out sheds is believed to be on holiday.
Pascale added: “I think they just wanted to make a mess. Nothing was taken, no fruit or vegetables are gone as far as we know.”
She is now urging people living in Irvine Road and in Norman Way to be extra vigilant.
But Pascale added: “It is hard to know how much more secure we can make the site and I think the bottom line is, if people want to get in, they are going to get in.”
Sue Lissimore, borough councillor for Prettygate and an allotment plot holder, said: “I have had one for eight years and this is the first bit of vandalism that I have been aware of.
“I think it is important that once this has happened, it never happens again. That starts with everyone looking out for one another.
“If you do see anything suspicious, call the police on 101. It is better to be safe than sorry.”
A spokeswoman for Essex Country Fire and Rescue said two crews from Colchester were called to the blaze shortly after 2.30am on Saturday.
They managed to put it out in about 30 minutes.
An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “The incident is being treated as a criminal offence and we urge anyone with information to come forward and help us find those responsible.”
Anyone with information should contact Colchester police station on 101.