Anger as plant thieves target gardens and floral displays in Beccles
- Credit: Archant
Residents and councillors have been left dismayed following a spate of plant and flower thefts in Beccles.
The Pride in Beccles working party fills the three-tiered planters around the town centre with flowers twice a year, to make the area look attractive for visitors.
However a couple of months ago the planter outside Lloyds Bank in Exchange Square was targeted by thieves, and since then flowers have been continuously stolen.
And Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, chairman of the town council working party, says they no longer have the funds to replace them.
She said: 'A couple of months ago the plants started going missing and now it is happening continuously.
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'Stephen Malster from Goose Green Nurseries kindly replaced some for free, but it has got to the stage now where we can't replace them anymore.
'There seems to be a spate of thefts against plants in Beccles at the moment. I know there were some stolen in Station Road and there have definitely been others stolen in the town too.
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'It feels really deliberate now and the empty planter is not a happy sight.'
The problem started a few months ago when the plant pot outside Beccles Town Hall was tampered with.
Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw said: 'Every Saturday night for three weeks our big pot by the town hall kept being pushed over. It takes three or four people to move it, so it would take a group to push it over.
'As a town council we have such a small budget so we have to be careful how the money is spent. And until we get to the bottom of it we can't plant anymore.
'We plant in the autumn and spring so we have winter and summer displays every year and that is quite unique for small town. We want to make the town centre look as attractive as possible.'
The thefts have been reported to Suffolk Police, who are appealing for witnesses.
A spokesman said: 'Police received reports that a row of flowers had been dug up and removed from outside a business address in Exchange Square. This is believed to have taken place at some point between Monday, April 17 and Monday, April 8.
'At some point between 4pm on Thursday, May 4, and 10.30am on Friday, May 5, a large bay tree (in a blue terracotta pot) was removed from the front garden of a residential address in Station Road. A second home address in Station Road reported a trailing plant was stolen from the front garden at some point between 11pm and 4.20pm over the same dates.
Anyone with information is urged contact the Beccles and Bungay Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101, quoting reference 37/33839/17.
The problem has attracted a lot of comments on the Beccles Community Facebook page, with one resident posting 'What is wrong with people? This is both ridiculous and infuriating!'
Another said: 'So sad and makes me very angry. They are planted for everyone to enjoy, not to be stolen.'