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Allotments targeted in spate of arson attacks

AN ALLOTMENT in Chelmsley Wood has had five sheds burnt down in just over a week in a series of arson attacks.

AN ALLOTMENT in Chelmsley Wood has had five sheds burnt down in just over a week in a series of arson attacks.

Bluebell Leisure Gardens Allotment, in Bluebell Drive, was targeted by vandals on Friday 11, Wednesday 16 and Sunday 20 November causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage to plot holder’s sheds, tools and plants.

Allotment committee member Sandy Malin was “disgusted” that arsonists had hit the site again which has been besieged by similar attacks throughout the year.

“We’ve been targeted by vandals again and again. We can’t go on like this,” she said.

“Everyone is just at rock bottom, we’re just hanging on by a thread.

“It’s an escape for me and my husband but now my stomach is in bits wondering what’s going to happen next.

“It’s absolutely getting worse.”

Sandy blamed the allotment’s delipidated ilated fencing and gates for granting offenders easy access and appealed to the council to invest to repair them.

“Something needs to happen now. I’m terrified that next time they set fire to a shed, someone is going to be inside and it’ll be too late.”

Chelmsley Wood Town Council met with police and visited the 35 plot site on Tuesday November 22 to discuss introducing CCTV and increased police patrols.

Council Clerk Tony Beirne said they were also in the process of getting a contractor to fit new gates to the site.

“To the normal person it’s a secure site but to the determined vandal, it’s a constant battle to keep them out,” he said.

“We don’t know who it is or why but we’re asking people to be more vigilant.”

Mr Beirne pledged that next summer, new metal fencing would be installed and natural borders increased around the site while an adjacent field would be turned into a youth allotment.

West Midlands Fire Service are now attempting to reduce the number of arson attacks in the area.

A spokesman said: “With our community safety partners - which include police officers - and through education programmes and community engagement activities, we are working hard to reduce incidents of this nature, which put lives needlessly at risk.”



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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