ALLOTMENT holders in Lindley were angry when thieves broke into their sheds and greenhouses.
But what angered the green-fingered gardeners even more was the red tape they found when dealing with police.
Plots secretary Brian Grainger thought he was doing the right thing when he collated details from his 19 colleagues about what damage they had suffered and what tools had been stolen.
But after finally managing to get through to the 101 police call system to report the crimes, he was told: “Sorry, you can only report your crime. All of the others must report their own.”
Brian, who has worked on the allotments for years, said: “It is bureaucracy gone mad.
“It had taken me ages to get through so I presumed they were busy, yet they wanted to have 20 calls instead of one.
“Every one of those would have been for a crime at the same place and between the same times. How can that be sensible?
“The police officers who did come round to see us were very helpful and conscientious, and I have no complaints about those. But a system which wants 20 calls instead of one is just bonkers.”
The intruders broke into the sheds and greenhouses off Occupation Road some time between 10.30pm on Sunday and 5.30am on Monday.
They forced locks and smashed doors to steal a handful of tools. The value of the property and damage was about £700.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said they had been called by an individual on behalf of allotment owners at Lindley to report a break-in to his shed and a number of others.
The spokesman added: “As the sheds were all owned by individual allotment owners, police were not able to accept crime reports for all of them there and then from the caller, as they required very specific and individual details from each victim of crime.
“These details are essential if the offence is to be investigated efficiently and thoroughly. However, to assist officers, the call handler noted on the initial report that further sheds had been entered at the same time.
“Details required by police for a crime report include the name of the complainant, full address, date of birth, contact numbers and precise details of what was taken in each theft, much of which a single caller would not be privy too.
“For this reason the call handler took the reporting person’s details and arranged for an officer to attend and investigate the scene, which is what took place.
“We would appeal for anyone who has information about the break-in at the allotments to contact the Lower Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101.”