12/04/2017

April Crime Prevention Blog – Sheducation! By Crime Prevention & Architectural Liaison Officer Gerry McBride

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For my April blog I would like to offer you some ‘sheducation’ (education on shed and garage break-ins) as they are popular targets for thieves at any time of year, particularly in Spring.

It’s surprising what we keep in our sheds and whilst many of us take steps to protect the property contained within them, some people don’t always do what they can to protect the valuables inside of them.

Shed locks are generally inferior to those in your home and yet power tools, lawn mowers, garden tools, bicycles and golf equipment are just some examples of expensive items that are kept in sheds or garages.

Remember, most burglars want to be in and out as quickly as possible, so we need to make it as hard as we can for them to break in and remove goods quickly.

Here are six simple steps to follow which could help to prevent you becoming a victim of crime ….

1. Keep sheds and garages locked at all times, even when you’re at home, and consider fitting an intruder alarm and additional locking devices on external garage doors ie a garage defender or similar.

2. Use bolts with nuts on the inside of the shed (screws can easily be attacked or removed by thieves) and fit strong metal grills to shed windows – securing them from the inside.

3. Don’t advertise the property that you keep in your shed/garage by limiting the amount of time the doors are open. Cover any windows to prevent items being seen from outside.

4.Secure items such as strimmers, lawn mowers and cycles by way of secure chains/wire ropes, fitted with a suitable lock to a fixed anchor point, and mark these valuables, using an engraver, paint or UV pen with your postcode and house number, and don’t forget the garden furniture too!

5. Use dusk to dawn lighting to illuminate your property, particularly if you are overlooked.

6. Protect your boundaries with defensive planting (prickly plants), walls, strong fences and gates.

Find out when Cleveland Police are holding a property marking day using their new marking machine by signing up to www.clevelandconnected.co.uk and take your valuables along to one of these events.