'They can't keep ignoring us' - gardener's fight to stop allotment fires (From This Is Local London)
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'They can't keep ignoring us' - gardener Michael Glover fights to stop allotment fires in Burncroft Avenue in Enfield Highway
A gardener has criticised police for failing to stop arsonists inflicting a campaign of terror against people living in an estate.
Michael Glover, who lives in Burncroft Avenue in Enfield Highway, believes police should have done more to stop arson attacks which destroyed four sheds and eight allotment plots behind his home over Christmas.
The 65-year-old claims many people living nearby know who is responsible for starting the fires, but said the police have not interviewed many potential witnesses or suspects.
He even said he could name those who started the fires, but the police are not taking him seriously.
He said: “I feel stuck in the middle of this. The police aren’t doing anything. I am afraid now that if they think the police have just gone away they might come back again.
“The police need to be shown up and be told that they can’t keep ignoring us. It's like going into a bottomless pit.”
The keen gardener, who owns two plots untouched by the destruction, saidthe first fires were on December 22 and December 27 and people returned almost daily until Tuesday, January 8 to try to start more.
Mr Glover emailed Enfield Highway and Enfield Lock Safer Neighbourhood Teams many times about the devastating blazes, but said it was not until Wednesday, January 9 when they finally arrived and “took notice” of the people’s plight.
His desperation has reached such heights that he has taken it upon himself to police the area, and said he stormed into the allotment in the middle of the night when he was awoken by banging.
The gardener believes he stopped people in their tracks and prevented the 22 other plots falling victim to another blaze.
He has also barricaded a hole in the fence which he thinks is being used by people to sneak into the allotment at night.
Mr Glover's concern for his safety is all the more acute after he was left with head injuries when he was attacked with a brick in the estate in March.
Without extra police presence, he is worried people may feel they have got away with the fires and decide to strike again without being punished.
Enfield North MP Nick de Bois visited Mr Glover at the allotments last week and is pressuring the police and Enfield Borough Council to take action.
He said: “It is disappointing that crimes at this level still are not getting the attention that they often need and residents’ frustration is increased when these crimes are reported over a three week period.
“If witnesses have identified possible suspects, I don’t think it is acceptable that the police choose not to interview these people to find out more information.
“We have got to deal with crime at this level before individuals go on to commit even more serious crimes.”
A statement from Enfield police said: "Patrols by both Enfield Highway Safer Neighbourhood Team and the Safer Parks Unit have been increased.
"Enfield Council are also aware.
"Officers from Enfield Crime Investigation Department are investigating - at this time no arrests have been made.
"Anyone with information can call police on 101 or alternatively to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."
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