Security lights and SmartWater installed to protect Poplar community garden

PUBLISHED: 19:27 06 July 2015 | UPDATED: 13:37 07 July 2015

Pc Dave Warlow hands Smartwater kit to Tom Gleed [photos: Sandra Rowse]

Pc Dave Warlow hands Smartwater kit to Tom Gleed [photos: Sandra Rowse]

Sandra Rowse

Security has been tightened with solar lighting and SmartWater kits to mark property at the community garden in London’s East End that intruders have raided five times.

Mile End Panel chairman Andy Ager on ladder fixing security solar light for Tom GleedMile End Panel chairman Andy Ager on ladder fixing security solar light for Tom Gleed

The community rallied round to protect their public garden lovingly tended by Britain’s greenest tenant, Tom Gleed, after reading about the break-ins in the East London Advertiser.

Members of the local police liaison forum presented Tom with a Smartwater kit to mark his property and returned at the weekend to fix solar-energy security lights to deter intruders on Poplar’s Brownfields housing estate, next to the Blackwall Tunnel, after raiders stole all his tools.

Mile End Panel chairman Andy Ager was up the ladder bright and early on Saturday to fix the solar light to Tom’s chicken shack. There wasn’t a moment to lose.

The lights are part of a programme to protect vulnerable and isolated people which has received funding from the Mayor of London.

Poplar community garden... Tom Gleed's pride and joyPoplar community garden... Tom Gleed's pride and joy

The high-tech CSI-type SmartWater kit is also included, which has individually-traceable liquid that Tom can apply to almost any item of value to deter theft and to help identify culprits. The liquid leaves a unique, long-lasting ‘identifier’ that’s invisible to the naked eye, except under an ultraviolet light, and each batch has its own specific ‘signature’ that can identify the real owner.

SmartWater kits have been distributed free to households in burglary hot-spots around Mile End and Bromley-by-Bow since the beginning of the year. Latest crime data shows a “substantial reduction of burglaries” in the area since then.

Tom Gleed was presented with his Greenest Tenant in Britain title in October by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, in the Chartered Institute of Housing awards, for helping to transform wasteland near the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach into a thriving, sustainable “people’s garden” and looking after it in all weathers.

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