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Rampaging vandals leave gardeners' work destroyed

By West Briton  |  Posted: June 22, 2012

  • Vandals have been targeting Truro's allotments.

  • Godfrey Mortimore at the Redannick Lane allotments with the replacement scarecrow after the previous one was vandalised. Picture by Jonathan Jacobs. Ref:TRJJ20120619A-002_C

  • Godfrey Mortimore at the Redannick Lane allotments which have been rencently vandalised. Picture by Jonathan Jacobs. Ref:TRJJ20120619A-003_C

  • Godfrey Mortimore at the Redannick Lane allotments with the replacement scarecrow after the previous one was vandalised.

  • Godfrey Mortimore at the Redannick Lane allotments which have been rencently vandalised. Picture by Jonathan Jacobs. Ref:TRJJ20120619A-004_C

  • Godfrey Mortimore at the Redannick Lane allotments which have been rencently vandalised. Picture by Jonathan Jacobs. Ref:TRJJ20120619A-005_C

  • Godfrey Mortimore at the Redannick Lane allotments which have been rencently vandalised. Picture by Jonathan Jacobs. Ref:TRJJ20120619A-006_C

  • Godfrey Mortimore at the Redannick Lane allotments with have been recently vandalised. Picture by Jonathan Jacobs. Ref:TRJJ20120619A-009_C

  • Godfrey Mortimore at the Redannick Lane allotments with the replacement scarecrow after the previous one was vandalised. Picture by Jonathan Jacobs. Ref:TRJJ20120619A-008_C

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MINDLESS vandals are targeting Truro's allotments under the cover of darkness.

Gardeners have repeatedly found their carefully cultivated seedlings trampled into the ground, bean poles broken, compost bins thrown around and fences torn down.

The late-night weekend rampages seem to be worsening, with owners reporting more incidents this year than before.

And allotment enthusiasts fear if the vandalism continues disheartened owners might abandon their city centre plots.

Truro City Council's parks manager, Richard Budge, said: "They've gone on a rampage and smashed up all sorts of stuff. It's just mindless vandalism and is very disheartening. To do that amount of damage they must have been there for quite a while and been quite a few of them as well.

"We get the odd attacks on all sorts, where people come and pinch vegetables and try and break into sheds."

But the "odd attacks" have escalated into a regular occurrence, with Godfrey Mortimore recalling five in recent months.

The 72-year-old who has one of the 18 allotments at Redannick said: "We do get a little bit every year, but this year it's been especially bad. In just ten minutes they can do a lot of damage.

"They've even taken the scarecrow – steel pole and all. It's been a real disappointment for the allotment holders who put in a lot of their time.

"But we'll never catch the perpetrators because you just can't keep your eye on the allotments 24-7.

"Hopefully the vandals will go away eventually, but at the moment it seems to be getting worse.

"If it continues people might pack up and leave, which will be a real shame."

Mr Mortimore believed the culprits were teenagers with a "belly full of beer" who "get up to their larks" after midnight.

"I just can't understand what's going on in their little brain box," he added.

"They're just thinking, 'destroy'."

He said despite police officers regularly patrolling the area, he did not believe the culprits would be caught.

PCSO Tom Care said although damage often went unreported, recent attacks had been far worse than a child trampling on plants to retrieve a lost football.

"This time someone's gone around destroying the whole allotment," he said. "It's not thousands of pounds of damage but people have spent hours of their time up there and it's really annoying."

Anyone with information about the attacks should contact Truro police on 101, reference number GT/12/961.

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  • StanStill  |  June 21 2012, 6:46PM

    The people who do this sort of thing are of very low mentality, who think it is clever to damage others property. They are the Pondlife of society(with apologies to anything that lives in a pond)and are not fit to live in society.

  • Changinghouse  |  June 21 2012, 3:15PM

    What a way to behave ? Anyone who has done this. If you are reading my message "you are stupid, a lot of these allotments are looked after by old people. What do you get out of destroying this. Your not clever and this does not give you any proper respect at all" Whoever done this is pathetic I hope you fix your allotments.

  • Phil_lip  |  June 21 2012, 3:14PM

    A few well placed heavy sticks around the allotments could be classed legally as grabbing for something to defend yourself, maybe a couple of people sitting in the allotment could hand out rough justice but would have to "defend" themselves when these idiots come round. The worse thing is the morons that did this will probably read this (if they can read) and laugh about it and they have a trophy scarecrow to prove they are something special, and special they are but not in the way they think!

  • josdave  |  June 21 2012, 1:24PM

    What is needed is some rough justice the only sort these mindless idiots understand. As long as the PC controlled world keeps handing out slaps on the wrist these misfits will cary on being a nuisance because there is no deterrent. Forget their human rights as they don't qualify. If caught make them spend time unpaid making good all the damage as well as hitting them in the pocket with a hefty fine.

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  • Big_Ger  |  June 21 2012, 10:14AM

    When there is no consequence for this sort of behaviour, when courts and magistrates fail to hand out punishment, when teams of social workers are all ready to make things better for the vandals, why are we surprised when it happens?

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