Increase in thefts from gardens, sheds and garages expected

Herts Police have issued crime prevention advice.

Herts Police have issued crime prevention advice. - Credit: Archant

Herts Police are urging residents to secure their gardens, sheds and garages ahead of a predicted increase in thefts.

Police are launching their annual spring crime prevention campaign, Operation Gnome, to help residents to keep their gardens, sheds and allotments secure.

After a wintery start to spring, the weather has started to turn more seasonal and gardens have been springing to life, meaning lots of pruning, mowing and clearing is going on around the county.

This is the time of year when people are buying new gardening tools and leisure equipment, which often end up stored in gardens or outbuildings.

Burglars tend to target sheds, garages and outbuildings, during the spring looking, for new power tools, bikes and other expensive items.

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Inspector Nicky Dean from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Team, said: “We generally see an increase in thefts from gardens, sheds and garages, so we are recommending that everyone takes some basic security measures to make their property secure. “Leaving tools and gardening equipment lying around in your garden can attract thieves as they are valuable, but can also be used to break into your home.

“Locking tools away in a shed or garage when you are not using them and making outbuilding as secured as possible, with strong locks or even an alarmed padlock, will keep your property safe. Dusk till dawn security lights in your garden will make your home even safer, along with locking windows, doors and garden gates and making sure your fences are in a good condition.”

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These are some of the ways you can make your garden and outbuildings more secure

•Always lock your shed, preferably with two ‘hasp and staple’ locks (one near the top and one near the bottom of the door) or use or an alarmed padlock

•Secure your rear garden by locking entry gates with a padlock

•Burglars can use garden tools to break in, so make sure you securely lock away any tools after use

•Ensure boundary fences are secure and in good condition. Spiky plants along garden boundaries are good additional deterrents

•Tools and gardening equipment should be visibly marked with your postcode and house number - this can deter thieves and help police identify the rightful owner

•Remember to lock your garage door securely. Metal ‘up and over’ doors can be secured with extra locks fitted either side and/or a floor-mounted locking ‘T’ bar with a closed shackle padlock. Wooden garage doors can be secured with two substantial ‘hasps and staple’ locks and closed shackle padlocks (your local DIY store can advise on the most secure options)

•Join Neighbourhood Watch or Allotment Watch to help reduce crime in your local area.

For more detailed security advice, please visit or contact us on 101.

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