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Arsonists strike at Norwich allotment

PUBLISHED: 17:41 31 December 2011

Scenes of damage, at the first shed, then the second - which is at the bottom of Ms Rebecca's garden, followed by the damage caused to her greenhouse, tree and neighbour's fence by lapping flames. Then head shot of her.

Scenes of damage, at the first shed, then the second - which is at the bottom of Ms Rebecca's garden, followed by the damage caused to her greenhouse, tree and neighbour's fence by lapping flames. Then head shot of her.

Archant

Arsonists have struck at a Norwich allotment, setting fire to two sheds and damaging property in neighbouring gardens.

People living on Sycamore Crescent, off Dereham Road, which backs onto the river Wensum, were alarmed as fire engines descended on their quiet cul-de-sac at 7.45pm on Thursday, tackling two separate blazes which destroyed the sheds and damaged a greenhouse, fence and tree.

Jacqui Rebecca, 48, arrived home on Friday morning to find the tree at the bottom of her garden burnt and a neighbour’s new fence destroyed.

The plastic on her greenhouse had also melted.

Ms Rebecca said: “I am disgusted by it. Haven’t these people got anything better to do?

“My neighbour spent money and effort on getting a new fence but the chap I feel most sorry for is the one whose allotment they burnt. He does a lot of work in there, all sorts, he’s always pottering down there.

“At least nobody was hurt. But it is such a shame, because we see the amount of work and effort that goes in to the allotments.”

Ms Rebecca and another local person claimed that an elderly resident suffered a personal attack in recent months, when a shed in her garden was attacked.

They also said nearby trees were set alight last summer.

City councillor Deborah Gihawi, cabinet member for parks and open spaces, said: “It is terrible what happens to allotments. People have them to spend time outdoors, grow things and enjoy nature.

“I shall be looking into it. It has been discussed at council meetings before, we have to find a way to keep them safer.”

“We can’t patrol the sites, it is about the site users and local people being vigilant.

“We do what we can to keep them safe, like the metal security gate at Elm Grove Lane allotment, in New Catton, but we can’t police them. People have and should start allotment watch groups.”

Anyone with information on the crimes call Norfolk police on 101 or anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Have you or someone you know recently been a victim of crime? Call Joe Wilkes on 01603 772 439 or email joe.wilkes@archant.co.uk.

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