As spring approaches and the weather starts to get warmer police are warning people to lock up their garden sheds and outbuildings.
The Bracknell Forest Neighbourhood Policing Team is working with the Community Safety Partnership to raise awareness of springtime crime prevention advice.
In the first 10 days of February 54 garages were broken into.
Garden sheds, outbuildings and garages are a popular target for thieves as they are likely to contain expensive items such as lawn mowers, hedge cutters, pedal bikes and power tools.
Inspector Dave Bryan said: “We aim to raise awareness of outbuilding, garden and shed security and we will be working in partnership with Bracknell Forest Council to provide local residents with vital crime prevention advice, to help prevent themselves from becoming a victim of crime during the upcoming spring and summer period.”
The teams are hosting an event at Homebase, in Wokingham Road, on Sunday, March 29, from 11am until 3pm, where they will provide security information and crime prevention advice.
Insp Bryan continued: “In addition to these events, the neighbourhood teams will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the town and the rural areas. The team will also be carrying out a series of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operations and proactively patrolling burglary hot spot areas to target known offenders.
“We will be out and about, so if you have any concerns or just want some advice and information, approach your local neighbourhood officers who will be there to assist you. We will also be sending out messages via Thames Valley Alert to residents with crime reduction advice, so I would urge people to sign up by visiting www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk .”
Councillor Iain McCracken, executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection, said: “Our community safety team is working with local police to encourage us to consider the security of sheds, garages and outbuildings in the same way as we look after the safety and security of our homes.
“How much would you lose if your shed or garage was broken into and how inconvenient would it be if your expensive lawn mower or bike was stolen?
“With the warmer weather fast approaching and with us spending more time working and playing outdoors, it’s important to think about what we store in our outbuildings.”
The Bracknell Forest Neighbourhood Policing team and the Community Safety Partnership are asking residents to consider the following crime prevention advice:
- Make access to areas where sheds and outbuildings are located as difficult as possible – lock all side and rear gates using a bolt and padlock or hasp and staple lock and make sure fencing/hedging is secure. Prickly plants can be used around the fence line to deter access
- Install passive security lighting in gardens.
- Keep sheds, garage and outbuilding locked with good quality locks – padlock alarms are available from hardware shops that sound if any attempt is made to tamper with it
- Consider putting bars on the windows of sheds etc. to prevent break-ins.
- Strengthen the security of sheds by reinforcing door hinges, fitting doors with non-returnable screws or coach bolts
- Not leave tools and equipment in gardens but keep them locked away and consider securing these with cables and chains with robust padlocks
- Have power tools, garden implements and pedal cycles security marked with a post code and house number and deterrent warning stickers placed on the shed/garage/outbuilding windows. Use an ultra violet pen or a permanent marker pen on more heavy duty items such as lawn mowers
If you see anyone acting suspiciously around a property or outbuilding report it to police via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For crime prevention tips follow @TVP_Bracknell .