Guest columnist Inspector Andy Jackson says spring is the time to secure your sheds

Inspector Andy Jackson

Inspector Andy Jackson

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As the Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for the Ashfield North Policing area, I work closely with my colleague Detective Inspector Dave Bola to identify crime trends and see what we can do to combat them.

Based at Sutton Police Station we intend to produce regular updates to local communities on current issues and successes.

Spring is in the air and thoughts will soon turn to gardening and mowing the lawn. So where do you keep your lawn mower?

Across the area we have seen a persistent problem with sheds and garages being broken into, with a slight increase over the same period last year.

In these incidents the items stolen range from tools, fishing tackle and cycles. From one shed thieves made off with a rotavator! These are expensive items to replace and these kinds of break-in may also have an impact on your insurance premiums.

We would like to nip this in the bud as soon as possible and would recommend you take the following steps.

Keep your shed in good condition so it’s not easy to break into. Consider investing in an alarm. Use bolts to fix the hinges instead of just screws. Fit a padlock to your shed and consider putting wire mesh across its windows. Fit a motion-activated outside light to deter burglars who rely on the cover of darkness. Securely lock cycles, mower, etc., ideally through the floor with two locks so they are difficult to remove. Plant prickly shrubs and plants near windows, drainpipes and fences. Use gravel on driveways and paths to help alert you to anyone outside. Lock any gates to your drive or back garden.

I’m urging you to do everything to prevent this crime in the first place. Thieves tend to be opportunists and will look out for the easiest target, so anything at all you can do to secure your property would be of help.

In the unlikely event you are unfortunate enough to become a victim, you can increase the chances of property being returned to you by registering your property online on the National Property Register via the Immobilise website at www.immobilise.com.

If you would like to receive regular updates on issues in your area you can also register for Nottinghamshire Alert at www.nottinghamshirealert.co.uk to receive community safety messages direct to your inbox

If you have any information at all regarding who is committing these or any offences in the area please ring Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.