ALLOTMENT holders in South Tyneside are being urged keep their sites secure and avoid becoming a victim of crime.
The advice comes following recent burglaries at Northfield Allotments in South Shields.
Ten burglaries have been reported to police at the site between October 18 and November 24.
And while most of the plots are secure, intruders are still managing to gain access.
Police are stepping up patrols in the area to deter burglars, but are also issuing security advice to plot owners to keep thieves at bay.
Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Hudson said: “We know the majority of allotments on this site are kept secure by their owners.
“But as we’re still receiving reports of burglaries, I’d ask people take extra security steps so they don’t become a victim of crime.
“We would always ask people to refrain from storing high value goods in their allotments.
“Quite often people don’t realise the value of goods stored.
“Not only that, tools of any value and description can be used by thieves to commit further crime.
“Often allotments can be a more attractive prospect to thieves, as break-ins at them can be difficult to see and hear.
“I would ask owners to do what they can to make their plot less attractive to thieves, such as using good-quality padlocks that can’t be easily cut through.
“People should also consider fitting an alarm, using motion-sensor security lighting, and getting to know other plot holders, so everyone knows who should be on site.
“The free property register Immobilise is also a great tool to store details of any goods, so that if they are stolen and recovered by police, they can be returned to their rightful owners.
“By taking these simple and inexpensive steps, people can compliment our existing patrols to deter and target thieves.”
People can register their goods on immobilise.com and find further crime prevention advice via the Northumbria Police website, www.northumbria.police.uk