Over 100 Chiswick allotments burgled or vandalised over the weekend

Image above: Damage to an allotment shed

Fears attacks may be “an inside job”

Over 100 allotments managed by the Chiswick Horticultural and Allotments Society on Chertsey Road and Dukes Meadows have been burgled, vandalised or both over the weekend.

Chertsey Road allotments were targeted by the vandals on Friday and Saturday (6 – 7 October) and the Dukes Meadows site was targeted on the Saturday and Sunday.

Denis Flaherty, the chair of the society which manages the provision of allotments, told The Chiswick Calendar the majority of the attacks were seemed to just be “pure vandalism” with many expensive items such as battery-powered lawnmowers or power tools left untouched whereas doors and padlocks were smashed open for no apparent reason than to get inside.

Some sheds had bricks thrown through their windows.

The break-ins have been reported to the police, who have said they can’t do anything about it. The sites, despite being isolated areas, have little security. Some allotment holders install their own private CCTV, like Denis, but these cameras have been stolen in the past.

Image above: Damage to a lock; allotment shed

Denis went as far to describe the attacks as possibly an inside job:

“A lot of people have been saying, well they must have come in a car to be able to take some of the stuff away… A lot of these allotments have security locks on them now.”

He added that one man on the Staveley Road allotments not only had his shed smashed up, but the vandals had cut off two of the pumpkins he had been growing and thrown them onto the railway line.

“Where’s the sense in that?” Denis added.

Chiswick Horticultural and Allotments society manages the provision of allotments. It also provides up to date, useful horticultural information to its members and works with community organisations, running a schools programme and providing an allotment for school age children and teenagers to work on.

Hounslow has some 2,100 allotments, of which 600 are in Chiswick.