AN ARSON attack on a community allotment in Wirral has caused thousands of pounds of damage.
Vandals struck at the Church Road Allotment in Tranmere, stealing machinery and setting fire to a steel container full of garden equipment.
Shocked allotment holders are so upset by the incident that some say they don’t want to carry on.
Neighbours alerted the fire brigade in the early hours of last Friday. Two fire crews from Birkenhead and Wallasey attended and were there for 45 minutes. No-one was injured in the blaze.
It was the fourth incident at the allotment in the past month.
Site secretary Peter France has been running the community scheme for 15 years.
He said: “Thieves broke in to the allotment, and broke the security locks on the steel container.
“Lots of expensive machinery was locked up inside, including a shredder, generator, strimmer and hedge cutters.
“They stole some of the items, then tipped petrol from our machinery and set fire to the container, destroying a rotavator and other equipment. Fences were ripped off to start it.
“They then went all over the site and trashed it. A brass tap was pulled off and stolen, so water flooded the place.
“They trampled over fruit and vegetables, kicked marrows all over the place. It is devastating and just sheer vandalism.”
He added: “I have never seen anything like this. It’s unbelievable.
“We’ve had three previous vandalism incidents within a month. But nothing to this degree of devastation. We’ve lost everything: tools, machinery; it is around £5,000 worth of damage.”
The Wirral council site has 12 plots, and a raised bedding area for the elderly and disabled to use.
The facility has received £60,000 worth of grants to set it up for the community.
Peter added: “Everyone is devastated by this attack. A lot are saying that they will give up so I’m trying to keep everyone together. It is a sickening attack and just awful – but they will not beat us.”
Anyone with information should contact Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.