A Heathfield burglary hot spot that has suffered 30 break-ins in the last three years via its alleyways has had alley gates installed to combat the problem.

Twickenham police said in the summer last year there was a sharp increase in shed burglaries in which pedal cycles were stolen in the residential area between Twickenham Station and the town centre.

Residents had also raised concerns people were using the alleyways to urinate in while walking in between the stadium and the station.

After a crime survey was conducted the RFU agreed put forward £18,000 for the installation of the seven gates as part of its World Cup Legacy Fund in an attempt to address this anti-social behaviour.

More than 130 keys to the gates were cut by locksmiths and the gates are expected to reduce burglary offences by about 50 per cent, according to police.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Acting Police Sergeant Andy Le Geyt said the installation of the gates, which were designed and built at a nearby metal works named Powerhouse, was a great example of the police, community and partners working together to solve an issue.

He said: “Without the information from the community and the funding from the RFU then this project would not have been possible.

“We are confident that as a result we will see a steep decrease in burglaries and ASB associated with the rugby.”

Brenda Forward, Heathfield neighbourhood watch coordinator, thanked the RFU for funding the project and said: “These alleyways have been a nightmare for many years due to burglaries and antisocial behaviour, now we all feel more secure.”

The gates were designed by aerospace engineering graduate Emily Torode, who lives near the Stadium in Twickenham.

Ms Torode said: “It’s nice to have something I can look at and say ‘I built that’ – it’s also nice to be able to help local people.”