Yobs target Gosport allotments as sheds are burned to the ground

GARDENERS are calling it quits after their allotments have been targeted time and time again by vandals.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 5:09 pm
Updated Monday, 6th January 2020, 8:20 pm

At the Rowner Allotments in Green Crescent, Gosport, sheds have been broken into, greenhouses have been smashed and knives have been stolen by yobs.

The persistent attacks have led to many allotment owners handing their keys back to the council.

In the most recent incident, two sheds were set alight on the evening of Saturday, January 4, sparking a police enquiry into what happened.

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A burnt out tool shed at the allotments in Green Crescent. Picture: Habibur Rahman

But allotment owners say this might not be enough, with many feeling apprehensive about the future.

The shed that was burned down belonged to 48-year-old Steve Dodson.

He said: ‘It’s being going on for at least a year, but recently it’s got really bad.

‘I got a call on Saturday telling me to come to the allotment – I arrived there and saw a smouldering pile where my shed used to be. Everything inside was destroyed, it was devastating.

Many of the sheds have been broken into by the vandals. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘The problem is the fence is too easy to climb over. If I had my way there would be barbed wire on the top, that would stop the little scrotes.’

Trevor Cox, 66 from Gosport, said: ‘My shed was targeted last year; the yobs just jump the fence and cause havoc.’

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Peter Smith, 76, has been an allotment owner for five years.

The Rowner Allotments in Green Crescent, Gosport. Picture: Habibur Rahman

He says he has been targeted five times by the yobs, with attacks ranging from smashing up his greenhouse to pouring petrol on his compost heap.

‘It just makes me so angry,’ he said.

‘Everything is being smashed to pieces and people here have had enough.

‘A lot of people have packed it in and given up; I’m determined to stick around but it's so disheartening to see all the destruction.’

Fire crews from Gosport and Fareham attended the blaze on Saturday evening, with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service confirming that one shed was destroyed, with another partially damaged.

The incident was subsequently reported to the police.

A spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We have received a report of two sheds being set alight at the allotment on January 4. Enquiries are ongoing.

‘Anyone who saw anything suspicious or with information can call 101, quoting 44200004491.’