ESSEX POLICE: Keep your possessions safe this Christmas

ESSEX Police is issuing a warning to homeowners following a spate of garage and shed burglaries across Uttlesford.

With over 30 burglaries from outbuildings in the past few weeks, crime reduction advisor for Uttlesford (CRA), Peter Caulfield, has stressed the need for home-owners to take some positive action to protect their property.

“Back in July, I warned that these offences were no longer seasonal and that we could expect them to continue for the foreseeable future, and that is just what is happening. Victims are losing a wide assortment possessions and I’m concerned that most of the items stolen had no visible security marking.

“You should not rely on the flimsy locks that usually come with a new shed. Most are designed to keep the door shut, not keep criminals out. Although many residents have been fitting the shed alarms obtainable from Neighbourhood Watch, we need more people to check on their security and take action if necessary.”

To assist householders to do that, here are Mr Caulfield’s top tips to keep your possessions safe.

1. Site the shed as close to your house as possible – This will make it harder for the thief to break-in without being noticed.

2. Add a perimeter of crunchy gravel around the shed or garage, and plant some nice thorny plants under the windows.

Most Read

3. Obscure shed and garage windows with net curtains or whitewash – a burglar seldom steals what he can’t see.

4. If your garage has a rear door, fit it with a 5-lever mortise lock certified to BS 3621. Try to do the same for your shed, but if the door is not suitable, fit a “close-shackled” padlock instead and ensure that the fittings are bolted into the shed, not just screwed.

5. For garage rear doors, fit hinge-bolts in the back edge of the door. These prevent a thief from opening it by removing the hinges.

6. If your garage has an up-and-over door, you can secure it from the inside by drilling a hole in each runner, just above the wheel. Snap a padlock through each hole and you now have a simple device to block the wheel’s movement and stop the door opening.

7. Secure cycles, mowers, strimmers, hedge-trimmers etc., with a lockable steel cable and ground anchor.

8. Visibly mark removable items. Thieves seldom steal property that can be traced back to its owner.

9. Fit an alarm. If you have a house alarm, you should extend it to cover your garage. If not, then you should consider investing in the battery-operated alarm that Uttlesford Neighbourhood Watch has available on its website at

For more information about shed and garage security, or for details of visible security marking products, you can contact Mr Caulfield on- “101” ext 395387