Keep burglars out in the cold this winter, by making sure your home, garden and outbuildings are secure.
December was a busy time for criminals with burglaries increasing by more than 23 per cent overall. Garages and outbuildings were most often targeted with offences increasing 75 per cent* on last December, whilst home break ins were up by more than 20 per cent.
More than 80 shed and outbuilding burglaries occurred around the county during the month, with Dacorum (11), St Albans (eight) and Watford (seven) having the highest number of offences.
Nicola Chamberlain, Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Prevention lead said: “This time of year burglars are out and about looking out for valuable things to steal, like new tools, bicycles and other expensive items left in sheds and garages that have little or no security. We are recommending that everyone takes some basic security measures to make sure their outbuildings are secure. Don’t leave anything valuable in them unless they are well secured with good quality locks or even an alarmed padlock. Dusk till dawn security lights will make your home even safer.”
These tips will help to 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.
Make access to the rear of your property difficult, keep rear/side gates closed and locked and ensure boundary walls/fences are in good repair.
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).
Most bicycles are stolen from home so ensure they are kept in secure sheds, outbuildings and garages. Consider installing ground anchors if you have a concrete floor. If not, look for security rated products specifically for wooden and metal sheds.