Residents in Three Rivers told to get ‘sheducated’

Kevin Snow09th July 2008

Residents in Three Rivers have been told to get ‘sheducated’ and secure their sheds and lock away tools throughout the summer months.

The advice has been re-issued through Three Rivers District Council and Hertfordshire Constabulary to mark National shed secure week.

Police and the council have issued the following advice to shed owners:

  • Even a few inexpensive tools left in your shed could cost you a small fortune.  Why should a thief carry tools to break into your house when you can supply them? 
  • Strengthen shed and other outbuilding doors where possible and consider replacing screws to exposed hinges with coach bolts.  If a padlock has been fitted strengthen the areas around the hasp and staple and secure them with coach bolts.
  • Inexpensive shed and garage stand-alone alarms are now available from the larger DIY stores and dedicated alarm suppliers.  If you currently have an intruder alarm covering your house consider extending the system to your garage or shed.
  • Take a close look at your garage door.  Where a separate access door exists a simple method of securing up and over doors from the inside is to drill a hole through the runner and insert a padlock through the hole to prevent the door from being forced up.  Numerous purpose made locks are also available to secure the different types of garage door.
  • Don’t forget to secure any connecting doors from the garage to your house.  Once in the garage the burglar can spend as long as he wishes forcing the door safe in the knowledge that he can’t be seen and any noise he makes is muffled.  Treat this door as any external door, secure it with at least a BS 3621 mortice deadlock and consider mortice bolts located at the top and bottom of the door.  If the door opens outwards it is advised to fit hinge bolts. 
  • Always have a fire escape plan in case of emergency.  Side access to homes are very important it is advised that you have non climbable gates and fencing to a minimum of 1.8m high fitted with a lock or padlock, as close to the front building line as possible.
  • There are two products available for securing sheds and garages (up and over doors) which are to a secured by design standard (police preferred).  As part of a crime prevention initiative they are available at cost price and fitted free.  (funding arranged by community safety partnership) These are Shed Bars and Garage Guardians, for details please contact the Crime Prevention Office on 01923 472020.
  • Lock away your gardening tools; if they are left insecure they could be stolen or used to gain entry to your house.
  • Keep ladders locked away or chained up.
  • Keep garden fences in good repair and consider having trellising on the top.

Police are also advising householders to ensure their garden equipment is securely locked away to reduce the risk of their home being burgled.

Crime Reduction Officer, Dave Mance, said: “Burglars generally don’t like to carry tools with them that they could use to break into someone’s home in case they get stopped by police.  They will target places that make it easy for them – often choosing the homes that have been left insecure, with doors unlocked or windows left open, but also, as our crime reports are showing, where the householder has given them a helping hand by leaving something in the garden that they can use to gain entry.

“Burglars have used a trowel, garden fork, shears and a shovel to break in.”

“So far we know about five offences like this across the county in the past four weeks but we can ensure there are no more if people follow our advice: Please remember to put away your garden tools and other equipment, such as ladders, at the end of the day and before you go out. Put them in your shed or garage and make sure the building is securely locked – especially if you keep your lawnmower and other more expensive tools and DIY items in there as these are also attractive items for burglars to steal.”

For more crime prevention advice visit our website and choose ‘crime prevention’ or call 0845 33 00 222 to speak to a Crime Prevention Officer.

Sue Thompson, Community Co-ordinator for Neighbourhood Watch in Three Rivers says “If people could just spend a few minutes to objectively check their sheds and surrounding possible points of entry into the garden, a lot of heart-ache and inconvenience at a later date may be prevented.  Extra locks and security devices all deter the would-be opportunist and yet take such a small amount of time to fit.”

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