THERE has been a 100% reduction in theft from allotments in an area of Wrexham following the introduction of an Allotment Watch scheme and the use of SelectaDNA Trace to mark garden tools and equipment.
The initiative in Rhosddu was set up by Police Community Support Officer Mary Argent working with Wrexham Borough Council & Community Safety Partnership and Flintshire Neighbourhood Watch Association to deter crime and vandalism and reassure plot holders.
The council runs 4 allotment sites across the town and surrounding villages, with more than 300 allotment holders. Volunteers at each site liaise directly with police and feed messages back to fellow allotment holders on their site. If they notice anything suspicious, people trespassing, strange vehicles or known criminals they will report it to police.
Police have also been circulating messages such as warnings, information and crime prevention advice to plot holders using a community messaging system.
Following the use of SelectaDNA Trace, which can be sprayed onto items of gardening equipment such as strimmers, lawnmowers and hedge trimmers leaving a unique DNA marking which can be traced back to the owner, there have been no reported thefts from allotment sites.
PCSO Mary Argent said: "Allotments may have been seen as an easy target for crime, such as criminal damage and thefts, but the council and police want to deter crime and make people feel safe.”
"Wrexham Borough Council has put some good measures in place already such as security fencing and Allotment Watch is another way to fight crime.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
Back to 2013 News Stories