GARDENERS and residents are being urged to stay vigilant to help fight allotment crime.

Police in Ferryhill have received a number of complaints since Christmas about allotments in and around the town being targeted during the hours of darkness.

Incidents have included theft and criminal damage which have caused considerable inconvenience and distress to plot holders.

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Ferryhill neighbourhood policing team are asking allotment holders and people who live in properties surrounding sites to keep an eye on sites and report any suspicious activity to police.

Anyone with information should contact the beat team on 101, extension 6614721, or Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.