By following a few simple tips, you can help protect your rural property against burglaries.
These basic measures needn’t cost a lot of money:
- Place all tools and garden equipment in locked sheds and garages.
- Secure more expensive items, such as mowers and bikes, to an anchor point within the shed or garage.
- Mark all items with postcode and serial numbers using UV pens or forensic marking kits. Register the details for free on www.immobilise.com.
- Record the make, model and serial number for each item – this helps us identify stolen property. Take a camera phone picture of vehicle identification number (VIN) plates or product detail stickers.
- Take photographs of items such as statues and garden furniture if they are unusual, for easy identification at a later date.
- Fit a shed alarm – DIY stores sell them. Do you want an alarm that makes a loud noise to alert you? Or is the outbuilding so remote this would be pointless? Some alarms will send a text to multiple phone numbers and call you as well. Ensure you put up signage that says ‘THIS BUILDING IS ALARMED’. They can be as little as £20.
Some more useful advice
- If you are considering CCTV, it can only do so much for you – unless you are monitoring it 24/7. Some CCTV will alert you via mobile phone and/or email when it detects movement. These are often the most useful as it will alert you to someone on your premises in live time.
- Keep the structure in good repair, use coach bolts to secure locks, these can only be turned from the inside of the shed, so can’t be removed from the outside.
- Place pea shingle around the shed so that it will cause a noise when crunched underfoot.
- Consider covering windows with curtains to obscure the view of the contents.
- Consider external lighting.
- Ensure the garden fences are in good repair between neighbours to prevent unlawful access.
- Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.
- Talk to your neighbours about local issues and what to watch out for.
- Think about setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
- Look into forensic marking solutions such as Selecta DNA (https://www.selectadna.co.uk/) and Smart Water (https://www.smartwater.com/). Used in connection with other layers of security, they can be an effective deterrent. For reputable services visit Buy With Confidence: https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/.
Always report any unusual vehicles or persons in the area to police – with as much detail as possible.
Thieves often work across many different counties which can make it hard for police forces to track them.
Your information could be the vital piece we are missing.