BROXTOWE RESIDENTS are being reminded to protect their gardens as well as their homes this summer to prevent opportunists from stealing valuable tools and equipment.
“Garden crime is an unfortunate reality. Although many of us take steps to protect our homes and the property inside them, we leave valuable equipment in gardens and unsecured sheds, providing easy pickings for opportunist thieves. There are some simple but effective tips that you can follow to protect yourself so you can enjoy the summer season” said Councillor Jan Goold, Chair of the Community Safety Committee.
Power tools, lawn mowers, garden tools and bikes are just some of the expensive equipment stored in sheds which are not strong or secure enough to protect them. If stolen some of these items could be used by the intruder to break into your house.
Effective garden security includes everything from boundary fences, gates, outbuildings and the valuables stored inside them.
Follow the tips below to protect your property from garden thieves.
- Fit well positioned external lighting
- Strong gates, fences and walls kept in good repair can deter intruders from accessing your property, keep gates locked at all times
- Compliment security measures, such as lighting, locks and alarms by planting prickly plants to deter burglars. If doing so it is best to plant these around vulnerable areas such as: windows, fences, boundary walls and drainpipes.
Most garden sheds are not designed for safe storage. Ideally, expensive items such as power tools, mowers, garden tools and bicycles should not be stored in them.
However, if you have no alternative, here are some shed security tips:
- Keep your shed in good condition.
- Fit a closed shackle padlock to the door – fittings should be bolted through the door and any screws concealed.
- Fit grilles or mesh to the windows.
- Fit a shed alarm.
After improving the physical security of your shed, it is important to secure the contents – tools and equipment could be used to force entry into your home, so:
- Chain large items such as bicycles together – it is more difficult for a thief to carry away a lot of large heavy items all at once.
- Lock ladders to a secure fixture in the shed or garage so they cannot be used to reach windows in your home.
- Mark your garden tools and equipment with your postcode and house name or number.
- Don’t leave ladders and tools lying around in your garden – these could be used to break into your home.
By raising awareness and increasing vigilance everyone can help to reduce crime, so remember:
- lock all doors even when you’re at home and remove keys from locks
- close all windows when you go out and close windows in unoccupied rooms even when you’re at home
- do not leave keys on show within your home, keep them with you where possible or in an agreed concealed location within your home. This reduces the likelihood of burglary/theft of vehicle but also enables occupants to access keys easily allowing them to leave the home promptly in an emergency
- when leaving your vehicle, lock it, close windows/sunroof and don’t leave anything on display
- when shopping make sure your handbag, purse or wallet is secure and out of sight, never leave your bag unattended
- when leaving your cycle unattended secure it to an immovable object with a good quality lock in a well lit, busy area
To protect your property and belongings such as mobile phones, laptops/tablets, iPods/MP3 players you may want to consider registering the items with the UKs National Property Register, IMMOBILISE by registering on-line for free at www.immobilise.com
In an emergency or to report a crime in progress contact the police on 999.
To report information and suspicious activity contact the non-emergency Nottinghamshire Police number 101
To report crime anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111