Vandals hit allotments

VANDALS have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage at an allotment site - a trail of destruction which left gardeners feeling shocked and disgusted.

VANDALS have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage at an allotment site - a trail of destruction which left gardeners feeling shocked and disgusted.Intruders broke into the allotments in Hamilton Lane, Exmouth, last Wednesday morning, May 13. Expensive greenhouses were smashed leaving a sea of glass for people to clean up later that day. Sheds were broken into and vegetables and crops had been trampled on.Police believe the culprits committed the criminal act at around 1.30am.President of the allotments, Mike Hawkins, 62, of The Hollows, Exmouth, said he was 'absolutely devastated'.He added: "It is sick what has happened - absolutely disgusting."When you think about the amount of time people spend here doing up the gardens and the money that has been spent - it is just so sad."People have worked their socks off and this is the reward they get."Mike, who said the allotments had been targeted by vandals before, believed the latest attack was the worst damage for many years."There is one person with a patch here who has just put a greenhouse up which cost around �1,000 and it was smashed to pieces."Another person had a polytunnel damaged. The cost of repair for that will be hundreds of pounds."This is all before we consider the damage to beans, other crops and the canes which have been broken."Seventy-three-year-old John Patrick, chairman of the allotments, said: "What has happened is pure evil. People who work here are gutted."PC Mat Helm, neighbourhood beat manager for Exmouth town centre, said: "At this stage, we believe it was not youths who were responsible. "We are looking to put preventative measures in place by working with people at the allotments to stop this kind of thing from happening again. We would urge people in the Hamilton area to be vigilant. People have to take responsibility for their equipment and make sure things are locked up."A police spokesman said items from the site had been seized for forensic testing. If you have any information about the damage caused, contact Exmouth police on 08452 777444.


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