|Residents are being reminded to keep their shed, garages and gardens secure over the summer months to help deter opportunistic thieves. |
The Basildon Community Safety Partnership (CSP), which is made up of agencies including Basildon Council and Essex Police, has released some top safety tips for residents to keep their belongings secure.
Paula Mason, Basildon Council’s Community Safety Manager, said: “The summer months tend to be a peak time for garden thefts and unfortunately many people under-estimate the value of the items they store in their shed, garage or garden. However, criminals are fully aware of the value of goods stored in these vulnerable places.
“A shed, garage or out building is often far easier to break into than a house and less likely to be alarmed. Sheds and garages often contain small but expensive DIY tools which are easier to make off with than a computer or television.”
The CSP suggests taking the following steps to keep your shed and garden secure:
• Position your shed as close as possible to your house so that it is clearly visible from your home.
• Secure hinges with coach bolts not screws. Consider using a shed bar across the door.
• Fit window film to any glass to increase its strength.
• Avoid storing valuable items such as power tools, fishing tackle or golf clubs in the shed. However, if there is no other option, secure a lockable box to the floor and/or wall of the shed to store these items. Lock the box using a closed shackle padlock.
• Avoid leaving items attractive to thieves, particularly pedal cycles, in your garden. Large items such as cycles can be secured with shed shackles.
• Use defensive planting, i.e. thorny shrubs around the perimeter of your property and under windows.
• Install outside security lighting which comes on automatically.
Lorna Watson, crime prevention officer at Essex Police, said: “Sheds are relatively easy to break into so it’s worth considering how to keep intruders out of your garden in the first place.
“Consider increasing the height of rear fences by adding weak trellis to a total height of approx. 2m.
“A good quality, well designed shed that is firmly anchored to the ground is also a sound investment. Mark tools and garden furniture with your postcode and house number.
“Another good idea is to install mains or battery powered alarms and invest in some lights to illuminate that part of the garden where the shed is.”
You can keep up to date with the latest partnership news and events by visiting our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/basildoncsp.