Yobs wreak havoc at city allotments

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MEMBERS at the largest allotment in Portsmouth have told of their devastation as vandals cause havoc on their land.

The Moneyfields Allotment Committee gathered on Saturday to discuss the break-ins of 80 sheds, arson attacks, destruction and ‘maximum chaos’ caused by groups of teenagers.

Allotment holders are angry about repeated attacks of vandalism - from left:  Pete McBride, Karen Staden, Roger Davidson, Matt Redsull and Chris Matlock     Picture: Keith Woodland

Allotment holders are angry about repeated attacks of vandalism - from left: Pete McBride, Karen Staden, Roger Davidson, Matt Redsull and Chris Matlock Picture: Keith Woodland

Sheds have been burned down, trashed and even used as a toilet.

Plot holders have had thousands of pounds’ worth of equipment stolen as the thieves steal fuel to start arson attacks inside the site and in surrounding areas.

One member hid in fear when a group of teenagers strolled into the plot at 11am to cause havoc.

Committee member Kevin Jones said: ‘Enough is enough. The man whose shed was burnt down used to bring his grandson every weekend. Now he’s thinking of giving up. It’s very sad.

All that remains of an allotment shed that was set on fire during the break-ins

All that remains of an allotment shed that was set on fire during the break-ins

‘We’ve had 70 people saying they do not want to renew because of this.

‘We’ve tried anti-climb paint but they use it as graffiti. They use cutters to destroy the fences and break in so we take it in turns to patrol the site at night but it doesn’t stop. It’s constant.’

The council have agreed to heighten fencing around the entrance of the land but the team have had to raise almost £4,500 themselves through fundraisers to heighten additional fencing in the new year.

Police community support officers arrived at the site on Saturday to reassure residents that they will be enforcing patrols to stop this anti-social behaviour.

Kevin said: ‘Teenagers wait nearby on their mopeds, smoke pot and wait for an opportunity to get in.’

‘More needs to be done and it needs to be done now.’