Many people take a great deal of trouble securing their home and property while at the same time leaving valuable garden tools and cycles in a shed that is either unlocked or not maintained.
Garden crime is now becoming more common and may increase due to the longer days and hot weather. Tools such as lawn mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, power tools and bikes are expensive items to replace and may incur victims extra insurance premiums. This can also be an open invitation for thieves to use garden implements to break into their house or car.
High burglary rates from sheds indicate that they are not only easy to break into but there is a large market for the stolen contents. With this in mind, consider if the property kept inside would be better stored elsewhere.
We are offering the following advice:
- Place all tools and garden equipment in locked sheds and garages.
- Secure more expensive items, e.g. mowers, bikes to an anchor point within the shed or garage.
- Mark all items with postcode and record serial numbers. e.g. UV pens or forensic marking kits. Register the details for free on www.immobilise.com
- Take photographs of items such as statues and garden furniture if they are unusual, for easy identification at a later date.
- Fit a shed alarm.
- Keep the structure in good repair.
- Consider covering windows with curtains to obscure the view of the contents.
- Consider external lighting.
- Ensure the garden fences are in good repair between neighbours to prevent unlawful access.
- Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.
PCSO 15486 Darren Guy
Fleet Neighbourhood Policing Team