String of thefts leave Bedhampton residents feeling vulnerable

Gina Wilson in Bedhampton Road
Gina Wilson in Bedhampton Road

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A SERIES of thefts and attempted thefts have left residents feeling vulnerable in their own homes.

Gina Wilson, of Bedhampton Road, Bedhampton, has spoken of how having an ornate garden bench taken from outside her home is just the latest in a string of worrying incidents in the street over the past two-and-a-half years.

Mrs Wilson, pictured, a retired lecturer, moved into the converted chapel three years ago. It was redeveloped by a relative and several members of her family live in the complex.

And a relative owns the old Bedhampton School hall opposite, which has also been redeveloped.

Over the years building materials have been stolen by people brazenly driving onto the driveway with lorries, and original Victorian radiators were ripped off the walls of the school hall.

People who had tried to take a boiler which had been placed at the front of the property while an engineer fixed it also had to be chased away. A few hours later it was stolen from the compound opposite.

Original Victorian railings which were about to be replaced as part of the redevelopment were also taken.

Mrs Wilson said: ‘My twin sister and I have an affinity to this chapel because we came here, the Gospel Hall, when we were children, right up until the age of 16.

‘This is a great little community, with great transport links. Over the road is a brilliant social hall.

‘And we have the most beautiful Bidbury Mead Park where a percentage of the money from the redevelopment of the properties went to rejuvenate the bowling greens and the playground.

‘So it’s such a shame that these incidents are ruining it and making us feel unsafe in our own homes.

‘I do feel violated. I used to pop next door to my sister’s and pull the door to. I wouldn’t dream of doing that now – I lock up just to step outside. It’s clear that whoever is responsible is an opportunist.’

Mrs Wilson said other neighbours had a wrought iron gate stolen, and plant pots have been taken.

Hampshire Constabulary have confirmed they are investigating but no arrests have been made. Call police on 101.