Police issue security warning after spate of shed burglaries

POLICE are reminding home owners to review their security after a spate of shed burglaries across Uttlesford.

The district’s crime reduction advisor Peter Caulfield said lawnmowers appeared to be the main target.

“We had four sheds broken into on one evening this week and three mowers have been stolen. I anticipate that this trend will continue for a while yet,” he said.

Police are unable to link the thefts as they happened across a wide area, from Hedingham to Duddenhoe End, but said the crime prevention advice was the same regardless.

Mr Caulfield explained: “There are a number of things all shed owners can do to reduce the risks, including:

• Reviewing your boundary security and ensuring that side or rear gates are securely locked;

• Trying to site your shed as close to your house as possible;

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• Investing in some good lighting;

• Obscuring shed windows with net curtains or paint. Burglars seldom steal what they can’t see;

• Visibly marking tools and other removable items with your postcode;

• Using a braided steel cable to lock-down mowers, cycles and other items;

• Fitting a good quality lock or padbar. Ensure that the hasp and staple are bolted to the shed, not just screwed on;

• Buying a shed alarm or an alarmed padlock. Uttlesford Neighbourhood Watch sells a variety of good quality alarm products at discounted prices, on their website at www.uttlesfordnhw.org.uk, and alarm products are also available from many reputable traders.”

Mr Caulfield also suggested residents keep a list of their power tools and serial numbers.

He said: “It will make dealing with your insurance company a lot easier if you are able to give them full details. In addition, if you have the serial numbers, this will be of significant value to the police investigation.”