Monday, March 28, 2011

Crime fear as weather hots up (say Peterborough Police)

THE warmer weather has sparked a “garden raiders” warning from police to Peterborough householders.
Officers are urging householders to check the security of garden outbuildings as the weather warms up.
They are concerned because the spring often coincides with a rise in thefts from sheds, garages and gardens as people spend more time outside.
Items that are targeted can include high spec and ride-on mowers or expensive power tools.
Crime reduction officer Rachel Carr said most people were aware of the need to guard against house burglary, however, many do not consider sheds, garages and other outbuildings.
And police have warned that frequently tools and other items stolen from a garden shed or outbuilding have later been used to carry out out breaks-ins at domestic properties.
She said: “In some cases sheds have been broken into and tools or other equipment within were used to break into a home.
“People might be surprised at how even a dustbin left unsecured can be used by a burgler to commit a crime. “For instance a wheelie bin can be used to climb up to a first floor window - and obviously ladders provide a means for a burglar to break into a house.
She added: “Many garden sheds are out of sight in a rear garden. Residents should think about how an intruder might gain access.”
Now police are urging home owners to make sure they secure sheds and outbuildings with strong locks or even alarms and movement sensitive lights should also be installed..
They also advise that thorny shrubs should be planted beside fences and walls to increase security.

(Reproduced from The Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 24th March)

Gardien Tip: Sheds are the number one target - help to protect yourself by reading our article on shed security at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Garden furniture 'should be locked away during the night'

The weather may be getting warm enough for homeowners to venture out into their outdoor space, but they have also been warned to protect their garden furniture.
Swinton Insurance issued the plea for people to keep their prized possessions locked away in a secure place over the summer nights.
It comes after a survey that the firm conducted revealed that 23 per cent of Brits have admitted to being a victim of theft from their gardens during spring months in the past.
Steve Chelton, insurance development manager at Swinton, urged: "Homeowners need to be vigilant about locking their garden furniture away during the night to avoid garden theft."
He added that people should also look to add some quality locks to their property's doors and windows, so to protect their home too.
Jonathan Cracknell, household underwriter at Aviva, has backed up Mr Chelton's warnings recently, explaining that a lawn should have nothing lying around it on an evening, which could attract opportunistic summer thieves.

(Reproduced from GardenXL  22nd March 2011)

Gardien Tip: The figure of 23% underlines our our own feeling that garden crime is a major problem. Advice and solutions can be found at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Clocks Springing Forward Sees Rise in Garden Thefts Warns Swinton

With the clocks set to go forward next week Swinton Insurance is warning homeowners to ensure their garden furniture is securely locked away at night.

Swinton, the UK's leading high street retailer of contents insurance issued a warning after a survey of 1,200 homeowners revealed that 23% had been a victim of garden theft in the spring months.
As the evenings get lighter and summer approaches, many homeowners dust off their garden furniture and take it out of the shed. However, Swinton is reminding homeowners to lock away their garden furniture at night to avoid being a victim of garden theft.
As the evenings get warmer there is also the danger of leaving windows open, giving opportunistic thieves the perfect chance to sneak into homes. The survey revealed that an unlucky 17% of homeowners had been a victim of this type of crime in the past.
Steve Chelton, Insurance Development Manager at Swinton said, "Homeowners need to be vigilant about locking their garden furniture away during the night to avoid garden theft. Investing in some additional security like quality locks on doors and windows, will ensure homes can be left secured. It is also a good idea to check your home insurance policy to ensure you furniture is covered to avoid any costly home insurance claims in the event of being a victim of this type of crime."
Swinton is offering some top tips to avoid theft over the summer months:

Do not leave windows and doors open if your property is empty

Do not leave valuables on show near an open window

Invest in quality locks on doors and windows

If you are going on holiday ask a neighbour or family members to keep an eye on your property

Check all sheds, garages windows and doors and locked at night

(Reproduced from Marketwire 21st March 2011)
Gardien Tip:  The problem is likely to be exacerbated this year with reductions in community policing taking effect. All the more reason to take some preventive action - see the solutions available at

Police offer garden crime prevention advice in New Mills following thefts

Police in New Mills (Derbyshire) are encouraging residents to keep their gardens secure after a number of thefts during the past few weeks.
The latest one took place sometime between 11.20am and 12.15pm on Friday, March 18 when a large metal tractor wheel was taken from the front garden of a property on Beech Avenue.
Two plant pots, a patio table and three garden planters have also been reported as stolen since Friday, March 11 from the gardens of three different properties on Highfield Terrace, New Mills and Thornsett and Hayfield Road in Birch Vale.
Local officers are now reminding residents to make sure that their gardens are secure, especially as the spring approaches.
PCSO Lee Baker of the New Mills and Hayfield Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “We would ask residents to keep an eye out on their gardens and to avoid leaving valuable items in a place where they could be stolen by an opportunist thief.
“You can help to reduce the potential of having belongings stolen by making sure items are securely stored in sheds or outbuildings, especially overnight or when out of the house.
“We also encourage residents to be good neighbours and to report any suspicious vehicles or people in their street.”
Other garden security advice includes:

■When planting, put heavy stone in the bottom of pots or planters to make them more difficult to be carried.

■If possible, anchor valuable garden ornaments or furniture to the ground and keep a photographic record to help officers to trace items back to their owner should they be recovered.

■Security mark items in your shed and any valuable items that might be in your garden.

■Make sure your shed is secure, that there are no panels which could be easily damaged and fit good quality locks and an alarm.

■Consider securing items such as ladders, bikes or large power tools in your shed by chaining them to a strong anchor point.

■Put all your tools and any children’s bikes or outdoor toys securely away once they are finished with.

■Planting bushes with prickly leaves or thorns close to any entry points could deter a potential thief, but make sure they don’t grow too high. A gravel pathway or driveway can also act as a good deterrent.

■Consider installing outdoor motion-sensor security lights.

■If you are away on holiday, ask your neighbours or a friend to keep an eye on your home and garden.

The New Mills and Hayfield Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team is also encouraging residents to consider becoming a member of Neighbourhood Watch.

PCSO Baker added: “Neighbourhood Watch aims to help reduce and prevent crime, by improving communications with the police and may help to build closer communities. Residents who are involved become familiar with crime prevention and can display window stickers and street signs which act as a deterrent to thieves.”

For more information or advice please contact the New Mills and Hayfield Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team on 0345 123 33 33 or email

To report suspicious any activity you should call Derbyshire police on 0345 123 33 33

(Reproduced from Derbys Police, 21st March)

Gardien Tip:  The above advice and more can be found at plus products to help deter garden crime.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Advice to halt crime

POLICE have issued a reminder to home owners about the dangers of leaving windows and doors open as the weather gets warmer and Spring approaches.
‘Lock it or lose it’ is the message being handed out by the Neighbourhood Policing Teams as part of a seasonal message to reduce the opportunities to burglars caused by insecure premises.
On the whole, burglary is an opportunist crime. A burglar will select a target because it offers the best opportunity to commit crime without fear of detection and with the least number of obstacles in the way.
A building that presents itself as unoccupied and insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one which is properly secured.
When the weather gets warmer, people will automatically spend more time outside in the garden or leave doors and windows open to let air into the house.
Open or unlocked windows and doors are an open invitation for sneak-in burglars. It only takes a few minutes for a thief to grab things like car keys, mobile phones, handbags or wallets.
PC Richard Beeforth, of the East Riding Safe Communities Team, said: “Sneaking in through open doors is too common occurrence in the spring and summer months. The offenders are not master criminals, but instead opportunists walking around residential areas looking for possible insecure properties.
“Burglaries cause the victims a huge amount of distress, as well as time, sorting out insurance claims and in some case changing locks throughout the property in cases where keys are taken.
“Don’t become a victim of this type of crime. If your home is insecure it may only take seconds for the thief to gain entry and steal property.”
Police have issued basic crime prevention measures so you can reduce the risk of being targeted by burglars.
Advice includes locking doors immediately when you return home, keep doors and easy access windows locked, even if you are in the house or garden and to lock garden gates at all times. Police also advise keeping valuables out of sight where possible and making sure you have your postcode and house number marked on any valuables with UV marker pen.
If you would like further crime prevention advice, contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team by calling Humberside Police on 0845 60 60 222.

(reproduced from the Beverley Guardian, 14th March 2011)

Gardien Tip:  The most common way for burglars to gain access is via the back garden, often using tools from the shed or simply lying around in the garden. See our specialist advice on shed security at

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Garden theft warning for residents

Police are warning residents to ensure they don't leave property lying in the garden after a spate of thefts in Newcastle. On the evening of Monday March 7 police received a report that a mountain bike had been stolen from a garden at Station Road in Walker, while a report was received on Tuesday March 8 of a lawnmower and strimmer being stolen from a garden at Portman Place.
They are the most recent incidents of a spate which has taken place in the east of the city over recent weeks.
Since the start of the year nine bikes have been stolen after they were left lying in gardens and further incidents include the theft of gardening equipment.
With the lighter nights approaching police are warning residents to ensure their property is locked away out of the sight of opportunist thieves.
PC Euan Faulke, Byker and Walker Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "Thousands of pounds worth of property has been stolen from gardens in the area after items such as bikes and lawnmowers have been left insecure.
"Opportunist thieves see something valuable just lying there and they take advantage. Stealing someone else's belongings is of course unacceptable and we continue to do all we can to trace offenders and recover property.
"However, a lot of these offences could have been prevented by the owner making sure their property is safely locked away and out of sight in the house or shed.
"This is particularly relevant now the lighter nights and warmer weather is coming and more people will be out cycling and doing gardening work. I'd urge people to ensure they put away any belongings after they have finished using them to help keep thieves at bay."
For more security advice or to report information about who is responsible for crime and disorder in your community contact the Byker and Walker Neighbourhood Policing Team via 03456 043 043 ext 69191 or email

(Reproduced from Northumbria Police web site, 13th March 2011)

Gardien Tip: All the above is sound advice - more information and a range of top quality security products can be found at