Vandals destroy allotments

An Exmouth pensioner, whose allotment helped her recover from cancer, has been forced to give up her plot thanks to mindless vandals.

The 72-year-old, who does not want to be identified, has been left so ‘disheartened’ by a recent attack on allotments at Brixington she has thrown in the towel on her own-grown therapy.

Her Pound Lane plot, shed and greenhouse – which the pensioner said was instrumental in beating cancer – was among scores trashed by vandals, who left a trail of destruction in their midst.

The pensioner said a �70 strimmer was stolen in the raid, which she cannot afford to replace.

The elderly woman, who could not face visiting her plot for a week after the vandals struck, is fearful her possessions will again be stolen from her shed.

She said she was unable to carry equipment back and forth.

The pensioner said: “The grief and pain it caused me, and so many allotment holders, is indescribable.

Most Read

“My greenhouse was smashed, with glass spread far and wide, my shed door broken off and windows smashed - not forgetting the loss of my strimmer, that someone felt they had a right to take.

“Like so many on the allotment, we work very hard to maintain it and, in my case, it has been a great means to my recovery after suffering cancer - with something to look forward to.

“I took it on five years ago after I had cancer to help me get strong, it’s done that, thankfully. If this had happened earlier on it could have killed me.

“The allotments have been a great support and source of friendship.

“This has left me so disheartened and I feel that I will now call it a day.

“What justice is there when whoever committed this unspeakable crime will, most likely, not be caught or brought to justice?

“I firmly believe that what goes around comes around.”

Exmouth police said they received a number of calls from members of the public reporting youths in the allotments ‘running rampage’ overnight on June 20.

As well as causing damage to more than 30 sheds and looting equipment, the police said the gang also lit a fire.

Exmouth neighbourhood police team Sergeant Phil Godfrey urged people to report any suspicious activity around the allotment area as it happened.

He said dialling 999 could help catch the culprits.

Sgt Godfrey said: “We urge people to call us as soon as they realise people are in the allotments, so we have got a fighting chance of catching them.”

The allotment holders have stepped up security in a bid to curb further attacks.

Talks are also being held about installing CCTV equipment on the site.

Steve Scott, an Exmouth and District Allotment Association committee member, said: “It was quite serious. They broke in and smashed in a lot of sheds and caused an awful lot of damage.

“It was malicious damage because some sheds were open and they still ripped the doors off.

“Three sheds were totally destroyed, four were tipped over.

“There are a lot of old age pensioners who go there and they feel very sad, upset and very angry.

“They go there to grow their vegetables and tend their crops. It’s like having your own house burgled – that’s how people are feeling.

“But because it’s en-masse, it’s like having your street burgled.”

Anyone who witnessed the vandalism, of if you have information relating to this crime, contact Exmouth police on 08452 777 444, quoting crime reference number KE/11/161.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter