Last week there was another incident regarding unauthorised access to one of the allotment sites.
This one occurred at Hartswood when three male adults, who clearly had no respect for social distancing rules, effectively barged past plot-holders who were accessing the site and who “stepped back” for their own safety. The intruders then wandered about the site, interfering with at least one of the plots before exiting when another plot-holder opened the car park gates to leave. As far as we are aware no damage was done and nothing was stolen but this was a very un-nerving experience for the plot-holders involved. Fortunately, unlike a recent event at the Ongar Road site, there was no direct threat of actual bodily injury, but this was a trespass and has been reported to the police.
Can everyone please:
1. Be aware of strangers acting suspiciously near the gates. Maybe just bide your time and wait for them to go away.
2. Be aware that if you are accessing a site by car it is extremely easy for an intruder to “tailgate”.
3. Stay safe – under no circumstances should any plot-holder confront any stranger at the site, particularly if they demonstrate any aggressive behaviour.
4. If you are threatened then please call the police on the emergency number, 999 immediately. Otherwise please file a report using the police website (https://www.essex.police.uk/).
5. Always lock the gates.
But above all else, stay safe.
Chair, Brentwood Horticultural Society