Bim Afolami, the MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has condemned the "selfish actions of a small minority" who are engaging in anti-social behaviour around the Old Hale Way allotment.

He visited the Hitchin allotment on Friday, September 22, and heard from plot holders about the problems they have been facing.

Reports of anti-social behaviour include theft, damage to greenhouses, polytunnels and crops, and drinking and drug-taking.

Mr Afolami discussed the problem with senior figures from the Hitchin Allotments Association, and has said he will work with local police to tackle the problem.

He also heard about the Hitchin Youth Allotment project, which works with more than 250 young people every year to help them develop their gardening skills.

Mr Afolami said: “There is so much fantastic work going on at the Old Hale Way allotments – in particular the absolutely brilliant Hitchin Youth Allotment scheme designed to get more young people out growing and gardening.

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"That’s the sort of thing we desperately need and I was delighted to see the success that they have had.

“It is obviously hugely disappointing that the selfish actions of a small minority are detracting from some of this amazing work.

"The problems with anti-social behaviour are really unacceptable and I will be working closely with our local police to see what we can do to stamp these out once and for all – so that all the hard working volunteers at the allotments can get back to focussing on the important work they are doing in our community.”

Paul Dee, membership secretary of the Hitchin Allotments Association, said: “Great to have Bim over to Old Hale Way Allotments in Hitchin to view the town’s biggest site and tour Hitchin Youth Allotment.

"It was also useful to talk through some of the issues we face there, in particular anti-social behaviour. We look forward to working with Bim on this and other issues.”