A resident says Steyning has become ‘an open house’ for crime after an antique trough was stolen from the High Street.
Since Steyning has been without a permanent PCSO for the last three months, resident Charles Ashby claimed crime has risen in the area.
“We have nobody now and that advertises Steyning as an open house.
“We had the Co-op burglary, this trough has been pinched, and we had three other burglaries in the area the week before,” said Mr Ashby.
On Monday (May 25), an antique cattle drinking trough that was intended for Steyning in Bloom was stolen from the High Street, on the junction of College Hill.
Mr Ashby said: “Steyning in Bloom is starved of money. A lot of their planters needed replacing and it was going to cost a fortune.”
As chairman of Steyning Horticultural Society, Mr Ashby scoured local farms to find disused troughs to use.
He said: “One of the containers was an ornate, antique drinking trough and that was put in position on the High Street, but overnight someone swiped it.”
The trough was donated by the Bower family of Maudlin Farm.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said the incident had been reported to them, and also confirmed that an antique milk churn had been stolen the day before in Steyning.
He said: “On Sunday night, a four foot high antique milk churn used as a planter was stolen from the front of a house in Goring Road.” The police added that they are not treating the two incidents as linked.
Steyning in Bloom member Val Stringer said she was ‘shocked’ to hear of the theft.
“I was absolutely shocked and ashamed. I regret that we didn’t think to fasten it and secure it in some way.”
Mrs Stringer added that not having a PCSO in the area has allowed thefts like this to happen.
“We used to have community police that do a foot patrol, and we don’t seem to have that now,” she said.
The Steyning in Bloom team are in need of your help. If you have anything that would make an ideal planter, call 01903 813938.
The next garden tour fundraiser for Steyning in Bloom will take place on June 21. Tickets are available to buy from Steyning Bookshop, in the High Street, and will include cream tea.
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