Update and advice from local police

posted 28 Feb 2015, 15:02 by Phil Handy
The local police issued the latest update on crimes reported in the area together with some advice about keeping you and your property safe.

03/02/15 – Shed Break In – Algars Drive, Iron Acton – Tools stolen from an unlocked shed.

05/02/15 – Theft – Iron Acton Garden Centre – Theft of candles.

07/02/15 – Burglary – Badminton Road – Money taken from the premises.

12/02/15 – Theft – Iron Acton Petrol Station – Making off without payment of petrol.

12/02/15 – Non Dwelling Burglary – Box Hedge Lane, Westerleigh – Items taken from a barn.

16/02/15 – Shed Break In – Station Road, Iron Acton – Items such a two pedal cycles stolen from a shed.

17/02/15 – Shed Break In – Ram Hill, Coalpit Heath – Items such as a strimmer stolen from a shed.

21/02/15 – Theft – Beesmoor Road, Coalpit Heath – Theft of a handbag.

23/02/15 – Burglary – Westerleigh Road, Westerleigh – Attempted burglary, nothing taken.

As you can see this month there has been three shed type break ins.

Shed Break Ins

Sheds are popular targets for criminals as they can often be overlooked when security of a property is being considered. The value of the contents is often much higher than first imagined. There could easily be £400-£500 worth of property inside such as bicycles, lawn mowers, tools, barbeques etc. A simple padlock does not provide enough security.

Even if there isn’t anything of value in your shed, criminals can use equipment stored in them such as forks, spades, chisels and screwdrivers, to break into your home or even your neighbour's home.

Property Marking

Criminals hate marked goods. It makes it harder for them to sell on your property.

Property worth thousands of pounds is recovered every year by the Police which can’t be returned to its rightful owners. This is simply because it cannot be properly identified.

Visibly and permanently mark property kept in sheds. You can mark your items by putting your postcode and house number on the item. If you move simply put an “X” at the end of your old postcode and mark it again with your new postcode.

Compile an inventory of property stored in your shed and do an annual check.

Crime Prevention

You can follow these tips to make your shed less appealing to a criminal by :-

- Making sure your shed is in good condition – that the door, door frame and walls are solid.

- Replace any damaged or rotten areas with new sections.

- If you are in the process of buying a shed, try to place the door facing your house and not too close to a perimeter wall or gate.

- Consider storing valuable items in a strong lockable box or cage.

- Fit two closed shackle padlocks on strong padlock hasps – one a third of the way up from the bottom of the door and one a third of the way down from the top of the door.

- Secure padlock hasps and door hinges using threaded coach bolts with backing plates or large backing washers to prevent the bolt being pulled through the wood – not screws which are easily pulled or forced from wood.

- Fit key-operated window locks on the corners of all windows that open. If you never open windows, you could screw them permanently shut from the inside.

- Fit wire mesh or bars on the inside of your window frames.

- Wrap a strong chain around and through the handles of garden tools, lawn mowers, cycles etc and secure the chain to the wall using a padlock or a ground anchor fixed to the base of the shed.

Garden Ornaments

- Secure your garden furniture using anchoring devices. These can also be used to protect expensive plants such as ornamental trees.

- Use security brackets to secure hanging baskets.

- Protect garden furniture and valuable ornaments by installing remote movement detectors. These are only suitable for heavy objects that are not affected by wind or casual vibration.


Lighting up your garden at night can be a very successful crime prevention measure.

- Fit automatically activated lights at the front and rear of your home. It is a good idea to consult a qualified electrician for advice on the type of lighting and installation.

- A light activated system will come on automatically when darkness falls and switch off when it gets light. This acts as a good deterrent to criminals because it gives light all night.

- A passive infra-red (PIR) light will automatically come on if it detects heat movement. This type of light is available from most DIY stores. These systems are very sensitive and can be set off accidentally by pets or wild animals. If the light is fitted with a high wattage bulb it is important to aim the beam away from buildings and roads as it may annoy your neighbours or dazzle motorists.

- Fix your outside lights where it is difficult for intruders to reach them and use the sort of lighting which has bulbs that are hard to take out.

Plants and Hedges

- Consider planting prickly/thorny bushes or trees next to your fences or as an alternative. They are a visual deterrent and a physical barrier intended to compliment locks, alarms and lighting.

- Train a thorny climbing plant, like a rose, through a trellis on the top of your rear garden fence.

- Plant prickly shrubs along the bottom of your fences or walls to discourage thieves jumping into your garden.


- Put up strong fences to make it harder for criminals to get into your garden but make sure it has not got any features which could make it easy to climb over.

- Be careful that fencing is not too high. You may be helping criminals if your fence is high enough to hide behind. They will think twice about breaking into your home if they are going to be in full view of your neighbours.

Garden Gates

- Your gate should be the same height and as strong as your fence or wall.

- The hinges should be securely screwed to the gate posts on the garden side and you should fit a padbolt and padlock or press bolt on the inside of the gate.


- Use gravel or something similar. It makes a lot more noise allowing you to hear when someone is approaching.