Residents urged to get sheducated
Dated: 28 Mar 2012
Now that the evenings are lighter - and people are more likely to use their sheds and outdoor equipment - police are encouraging residents to keep their property secure.
Police in North Tyneside are reminding residents to get 'sheducated' and take some simple steps to stop thieves breaking into their outbuildings.
Police advise that by following simple crime prevention advice residents can help stop themselves from being a victim of crime. The advice comes following a rise in shed burglaries in Wallsend in recent weeks.
People often use sheds to store equipment which may be worth hundreds of pounds and which are sometimes only secured by a cheap padlock.
Not only can householders lose their valuable property, but garden tools can also be used to break into homes.
However, shed burglaries can be prevented by taking simple security measures such as using quality padlocks and replacing standard hinges with strap hinges secured by coach bolts or non-return screws.
Garden side gates should be locked as an intruder climbing over is more likely to be seen as suspicious than one that just opens the gate and walks in.
Security lighting is also a deterrent, and portable shed alarms can scare off intruders.
Bikes in particular need additional security locks and chains within the garage or shed, as they are increasingly becoming the target for thieves. All property should also be security marked.
Inspector Kevin Benson from Wallsend Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "Most people don't realise the value of property stored in sheds and garages until it is stolen.
"Gardeners continue to store high value equipment such as tools, lawn mowers, power tools and bikes in sheds and outhouses without adequate security.
"I would ask the public to be more vigilant and take extra security measures in and around the garden.
"It's worth spending a little on simple security devices to save a lot in the future.
"By taking some simple precautions, you can put yourself at less risk of becoming a victim of opportunist thieves. Please remember if you do see or hear any suspicious activity, especially overnight when most offences occur, call the police straightaway."
People can follow the below sheducate tips to prevent shed burglaries:
Secure the access to your shed by locking gates and growing thorny bushes next to walls and fences
Have you visibly marked the contents of your shed? Owners should note serial numbers of property and bicycles in case they are stolen.
External security lighting activated by movement is a useful deterrent
Doors of sheds need good security. Use strong pad bars and close shackle padlocks. Consider a shed bar for extra protection
Use coach bolts or non-return screws to secure door hinges, hasp and staples
Chain lawnmowers, strimmers, tools, ladders, cycles and other items to a strong anchorage point
Alarms for sheds are also a good idea.
Together we'll crack crime. Start or join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
Exactly what insurance cover do you have? Check your household policy covers you for theft from your garden and its shed.
Residents can contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 101 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.