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CRIMINAL DAMAGE: Police issue warning after trespassers damage hay bales at Woodoaks Farm in Maple Cross

 Published on: 26th January 2022   |   By: Amy Pollard   |   Category: Uncategorized

Officers are reminding residents to be safe following a recent incident at a farm in Maple Cross.

Police were called on multiple occasions between Monday, January 3, and Monday, January 10, following reports that several young people had broken into Woodoaks Farm, off Denham Way.

The individuals broke into an area containing hay bales, before climbing the bales and throwing some of them to the ground.

PC Christian Gottmann, from Rickmansworth Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “During the trespassing glass was broken and left in the hay bales. This has caused significant financial impact for the farmer, as the bales cannot be used due to the glass potentially causing injury to livestock. The bales are also heavy and could have caused significant injury if they had landed on a person.

“We are issuing a strong warning and reminding individuals of the dangers that playing in farming areas can bring. Serious injury could be caused to those trespassing as well as animals on the farm. Lighters were also found at the scene which is dangerous for obvious reasons. Fire poses a potential threat to the farmer’s livelihood.”

Police were called to Woodoaks Farm again on Wednesday, January 19, after reports were received of young people smoking inside the Dutch barn, which is used to store hay.  When officers arrived, they carried out a thorough search of the site, but no individuals were found at the scene.

However, a haybale was found with scorch marks, indicating where a small fire had been lit.

PC Gottmann said: “On this particular occasion minimal damage was caused, however the potential consequences of this due to the amount of hay stored in this area of the barn is concerning.

“The reckless behaviour of those trespassing has the potential to fatally harm both the suspects and the farmers, in addition to financial consequences.”

If you have any information that you believe may help with our enquiries, then please email christian.gottmann@herts.police.uk.

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