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From a police perspective: Shed and garden security

This month, Sgt Lonsdale tells us about how to protect our sheds and gardens against theft now the lighter nights are here.

As the weather starts to warm up, we all spend more time outside, but we all also get a bit lax about leaving our property around and locking our sheds and garages when we use them.

Opportunist criminals are always on the lookout for bikes, tools, sports equipment and fishing tackle in sheds and garages, as well as in gardens.

Below are some areas to consider:

• Make sure your shed or garage is secured with a good quality lock.

• Keep back gates locked when not used.

• Check there are no bins, composters or trees that can be used for climbing over your garden fence to gain access – consider planting thorny bushes inside the fence to deter entry.

• Do you have security/motion sensor lights? They can be a great deterrent if your home or garden is secluded from street lighting.

• Loop a strong chain through the handles of your garden tools and connect the ends with a strong padlock.

• Stop thieves stealing plants by using heavy plant pots which will be less desirable to walk off with.

• Many shed windows are never used, if this is the case – why not screw them shut?

• If you have a household alarm consider extending it to cover your outbuildings or fit a bespoke shed/garage alarm.

• If you have an expensive bicycle or motorbike, make sure you have a good quality lock securing it when it is not being used.

• For reference, record a description and add photographs of your cycles, golf clubs, fishing equipment, tools and any other valuable property free on www.immobilise.com .

• Consider marking your property too using a visible permanent marker, for example, waterproof paint, engraving or a permanent marker pen, or if you prefer an invisible marker (UV pens etc). It is recommended that you put your postcode prefixed with the number of your address. This allows any recovered stolen goods to be identified and returned to the owner.

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