East End rallies round Tom Gleed after his chicken shack is burgled 5 times
- Credit: Poplar Harca
The community of London’s East End has rallied round to protect a public garden lovingly tended by Britain’s greenest tenant which has been raided by thieves for the fifth time.
Members of the local police liaison forum read in yesterday’s East London Advertiser about Tom Gleed’s community garden and chicken shack on Poplar’s Brownfields housing estate, next to the Blackwall Tunnel, being burgled on Monday when all his tools were stolen.
The heads of two local ward committees at Mile End and Bromley-by-Bow turned up at the community garden this-morning and presented Tom with a Smartwater kit to mark his property and are returning tomorrow to fix solar-energy security lights to deter intruders.
“We took a Smartwater kit to Tom as soon as we read in the paper about his latest break-in,” Mile End Panel chairman Andy Ager said.
“It’s a high-tech CSI-type deterrent which is an individually-traceable liquid that can be applied to almost any item of value to deter theft and to help identify culprits.
You may also want to watch:
“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—despite the raids on Tom’s community garden.
- 1 Cops break Covid-19 rules to have haircuts at Bethnal Green police station
- 2 Murder arrest after woman stabbed to death in Whitechapel this morning
- 3 Lovely Day for Aldgate School picked to sing on Billy Ocean's new single
- 4 'Grenfell Tower'-type cladding still not removed from New Providence Wharf after 3 years
- 5 Police e-fit expert retiring after 15 years at Bethnal Green
- 6 Covid hero who did charity walk in Bow aged 100 now has vaccine
- 7 Fury as family homes vanish when Isle of Dogs landlord converts to bedsits
- 8 Two men arrested after police officers assaulted in Limehouse rave
- 9 Man sentenced after teenage boy groomed on Snapchat to sell heroin
- 10 'Racist consultation' protest rejected on Tower Hamlets street closures as Labour sticks to its manifesto
The solar security lights are also part of a community programme to protect vulnerable and isolated people which have received City Hall funding.
The 69-year-old retired ship’s welder said today: “I was over the moon when the neighbourhood people turned up and can’t thank them enough for their support. If anyone breaks in now, there is a high chance anything they steal will be marked with SmartWater and they can be brought to justice.”
The one-time amateur London youth boxing champ tends the garden 365 days a year—even through winter—where he also keeps rescued chickens.
Monday’s raid was the fifth break-in since Tom began working on the garden in 2010.
Tom 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.