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Bishop's Stortford police see spike in petty theft as unemployment rises amid coronavirus crisis

Police have been told of a spate of thefts of potted plants in Bishop's Stortford – and officers are concerned that people are resorting to petty crime as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There have been three reported incidents in the south-west part of town in just over a week.

Two potted conifers, worth £200, were taken from outside the front door of a property in Thorley Lane, off Whittington Way, between 6pm on Wednesday (Nov 11) and 9am on Thursday (Nov 12).

The same night, a short distance away in Pynchbek, two ceramic pots and two plastic pots containing various plants were taken.

On Tuesday November 3, a £30 Christmas tree in a concrete pot was stolen from a house in Anglesey Close on the Bishop’s Park estate between 7am and 5pm.

Police wonder if this new crime trend is linked to unemployment, which continues to rise in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Sgt Theresa Funes-Walker, of Stortford's Safer Neighbourhood Police team, said: "Police recognise there are tough times ahead and people may be struggling financially, but turning to low-level crime is not the answer."

There are agencies which might be able to help people who find themselves in a difficult situation. A useful first port of call is Citizens Advice East Herts, which has a wealth of imformation on its website.

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