Posts Tagged With: theft

Out of ordure

DUNG!!

This is the News at Ten with Trevor Muckdonut.

 

Big Ben? More Bill and Ben, really

Big Ben? More Bill and Ben, really

DUNG!!

Manure thief strikes at Shepherds Hill allotments

DUNG!

Pilfering of bags ‘a sackable offence’

DUNG!

Culprit is in deep shit

DUNG!

Site secretary sniffs out the brown-fingered bastard

 

So what’s the story? Well, last Friday I took delivery of another lorryload of the well-rotted fruits of a horse’s bottom and bagged up 52 sacks with the aim of delivering it to a private customer the following Monday. I put a signed note on it stating “Private manure, hands off”, which also listed the number of sacks.

Then blow me down, Monday comes and there’s only 50 left.

Yes, it’s true, comrades, that I have been known to jump to conclusions before, but on this occasion, I knew exactly which way to head. Why? Because there were precious few folk around over that wintery weekend – except for one old bugger who’s always about, and this is exactly the sort of thing he would do. I saw him and he saw me before he skulked off, and he saw what I was doing as well.

I guess I’m going to have to be a bit coy about his identity (he most certainly won’t be reading this, given that the interweb is not something that is likely to clutter up his modest little brain any time this century). Established Hillbillies will know who I’m on about – one of the last of the “old guard”, a crap gardener, daft as the day is long, sometimes helpful and sociable but potentially hostile and difficult too.

So off I trotted in search of the missing dung. I peered over the barricades that surround his shanty town plot, and lo, there it was – a somewhat modest pimple amidst 10 poles of bugger all. Why on earth the silly old sod would want some in the first place remains the only mystery, given that his plot hasn’t seen an ounce of the stuff in decades, and two bags was neither here nor there.

I am now going to do something totally out of character and enlist the help of you, dear reader, in resolving the dilemma of what to do next. Below are the options, with value added judgements in brackets. Please feel free to comment, or email me direct if you prefer.

1. Report him to the Filth. (Entirely futile. You’re ’aving a larf).

2. Report him to the People’s Republic with a view to getting him kicked out. (Entirely futile. This will involve a row, and the republican guard don’t like rows because they cost time and money).

3. Nail him by the balls to the roof of his shed and then boot him off. (This has potential but the crummy old shed won’t take the weight of both of us).

4. Confront him politely with the allegation and point out that stealing from one’s fellows is very bad form, and stealing from the chief oberleutnant gruppenführer is fantastically stupid to boot. (He will deny it and turn nasty. Then what?)

5. Hop over the barricades and recover the missing dung, and then tell him where to shove it. (Well, if I’ve already recovered it, how can I tell him where to shove it?

6. Hop over the barricades, recover the missing dung and say nothing at all. (This has potential, especially if he then comes whining to me about someone having nicked his manure).

7. Do nothing at all and simply lament the fact that amongst a large number of decent, honest folk, we have nasty little shits as well. Such is life. (A bit on the sanguine, placid side for me, but I guess it has its merits).

Any views, my friends?

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Categories: Allotment blog, Allotments, Gardening, Horticulture | Tags: , | 2 Comments

You’re nicked

Sorry folks – this is a bit of a long one. But it’s a big subject:

Mr Plod came knocking on my door a wee while back. This is usually an occasion for yet another exasperated sigh from my long-suffering wife (“Oh God, what’s he been up to now). But not so fast my fine friends. For once, our esteemed friends in blue were not interested in any further instances of my over-zealous behaviour. It was no less than the Metropolitan police dog section. And what did they want? “It’s a training exercise, Sir.” Phew.

And what sort of training would they be interested in on our site? Training said pooches not to dump all over the place? I would very much welcome an enquiry into that stuff. A fair few recent mounds of the deeply unpleasant deposits are most certainly not the work of Mr and Mrs Foxy, so who is it, one wonders?

“We’re looking for disturbed ground,” says the officer. Hmm. Well, it is quite possible, methinks, that one or two of our 225 patches of weeds could include the odd bit of disturbed ground. But dead bodies? Not sure if we can help you there, officer, I responded. “No, it’s alright Sir. We’re not suggesting you have any dead bodies. But we want to introduce our hounds to disturbed ground so they might know where to start digging in the event.” (It would be rather nice, I thought, if some of our tenants knew where to start digging – see posts passim.)

The matter returned to my radar again this week, courtesy of what could benignly be described as “the scrumping season”. Except that what we have seen recently is far from a bit of scrumping. What we are talking about here – and it’s not just our site either – is industrial scale theft: apple, plum and pear trees stripped of everything.

This is a deeply tiresome subject that comes round each and every year, but unless I am much mistaken, it has got worse (summat to do with the recession, maybe?) And the questions remain: who is doing it; when; and what do we do about it?

The two big advantages we have on our site is that firstly, although we are the biggest in the People’s Republic of Haringey, we are not overlooked from any main road (unlike our little sister at Alexandra Palace, which can be easily viewed from the top deck of a passing bus, which may explain whey they have been hit far harder than us in recent months). And secondly, if one wanted to be snobbish about it, the social profile of this corner of the republic is rather different from the east, which alas features rather more of the sort of deprivation that one would associate with the criminal classes. Sites there get hit a lot harder than us as a matter of routine.

Light-fingered neighbours have always been amongst my chief suspects in seasons past, not least because I have on more than one occasion caught them red-handed. But the scale of recent instances militates against this sort of thing. This can only be someone who is seriously hungry, with a large and equally hungry family, or, even more likely, someone with a chum who has a market stall or grocers shop. And early morning is the most likely time, given that there are still people about until dusk at this time of year.

So what to do about it? Improved security? I was mighty impressed with the fencing the Gooners had installed around the Emirates stadium (the footy was rather less impressive), but that stuff costs squillions. The estimate five years ago to patch up our existing perimeter fence was well in excess of £50,000, so for once, I am going to have to forgive the republic for failing to stump up that kind of wonga. CCTV? They did that at the neighbouring Golf Course site recently. And guess what? That all got nicked as well. And how many hours have you got to peruse fuzzy images of not very much to identify nothing very much?

OK. Patrols. We have done that in the past, with some success. But again, how much time and energy does one want to expend, simply to end up with a potentially dangerous confrontation which, if it goes wrong, could well lead to yet more visits from Mr Plod. No charges, cautions, let alone prosecutions have ever been laid in the past, regardless of the fact that we have apprehended intruders on the site, fully equipped, detained them and handed over to the boys in blue.

The point of all of this is the effect that it has on our fellow gardeners. The commercial value of the booty is out of all proportion to the amount of anger and resentment that these thefts generate – which brings us back to the doggie section. Maybe it would be best if they stayed away after all. Death on the site? It has been known.

More on that in a later post …

Categories: Allotment blog, Allotments, Gardening | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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