Operation Gnome launched in Hertfordshire to combat shed break-ins

Police have launched Operation Gnome.

Police have launched Operation Gnome. - Credit: Archant

An awareness campaign to combat rising levels of shed and allotment break-ins around spring has been launched by Herts police.

Named Operation Gnome – the initiative has been launched to remind people to keep their gardens, outbuildings and allotments secure.

Inspector Paul Lawrence of Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “During the spring we tend to get to work in our gardens and allotments, often leaving expensive tools lying around and leaving sheds and garages unlocked. Burglars are aware of this. Leaving tools lying around in the garden or in an insecure shed can also help a burglar to break into your home.”

The police recommend people always lock their sheds, and to secure rear gardens by locking gates with a padlock. People are also encouraged to mark tools and gardening equipment with their postcode and house number, and to ensure boundary fences are in a good condition.

Mick Camp, chairman of Baldock Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Association, said: “Any initiative like this in which the police are raising awareness of shed thefts is welcome news.

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“One piece of advice I would give would be don’t leave anything valuable in your shed. I always take my stuff home, which is a shame as it’s not very green having to drive my equipment around.

“The issue with locking sheds is that sometimes people think there is something valuable to steal, so it can actually attract burglars, and the destruction caused in itself can be very costly. It’s down to the individual to make that judgement.”

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For more detailed security advice, visit www.herts.police.uk or call 101.

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