PEOPLE in Kimberley are ripping up freshly laid flowers in the town centre and planting them in their own gardens.
Kimberley Town Council – which spends £3,500 on the flowers each year – said the odd plant has gone missing for several months but over the last couple of weeks things had got much worse with patches of shrubs and trees being stolen.
Kimberley police officer Paul Toon said it was a ‘crime against the community’ and he will be monitoring CCTV.
“It comes out of tax payers’ money so it’s a crime against the community really,” he said.
Cllr Steve Brunt said the council spent a lot of time and effort making the town look nice and said councillors had been ‘overwhelmed’ with comments from residents saying how much they appreciated it.
“We have had so many people say how much they appreciate it and how much it brightens the town up, and it’s a shame we’ve got one person, or a handful of people, deciding that they are going to take those plants that benefit the community.
“We did this to keep the town nice and bright and colourful and it’s just pointless theft.
The councillor said the flowers were not left strewn in the gardens as if they had been ripped up by youths, but said they were actually being stolen.
“They are not being pulled up and left on the floor, they are actually going missing. Someone is nicking them for their own garden. It’s a mystery who is taking them.
“It’s time we pulled the plug on it and asked people to start keeping an eye out for these people.”
Flowers and patches of shrubs have gone missing from several garden areas in the town, and more recently a four-foot high tree was taken.
Cllr Brunt launched the Colourful Kimberley initiative in 2008 to brighten the town up, along with Cllr Shane Easom.
“Kimberley was so drab and we had a lot of open spaces so we took it upon ourselves to do something about it,” he said.
Flowers are planted at the war memorial in greens Lane, outside the Lord Clyde pub, on the corner of the precinct near the zebra crossing, near Halifax in Main Street and on Toll Bar Square.