Police advice over garden crime

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POLICE in Coleraine are reminding householders and those with green fingers to take steps against those with sticky fingers by securing sheds, outbuildings and garden property.

Local Neighbourhood Inspector Catherine Magee explained: “Securing your shed is important and burglars will take advantage of any opportunity to gain easy access. Make sure that doors are solid enough not to be kicked in and fit strong closed shackle padlocks.

“You should never leave a garage or garden shed unlocked, especially if it has a connecting door to the house. A thief could get in and work on the inner door in privacy.

“Ideally, expensive equipment and toys should not be stored in a shed however if you have no alternative, ensure you permanently mark items and keep a record of what you have stored. UV pens can be used to invisibly mark your property with your postcode.

“Ensure large items such as bicycles are chained together too as it is more difficult for a thief to carry away large heavy items.

“Ladders should be locked to a secure fixture in the shed or garage so they cannot be used to access upstairs windows.”

“To make your shed secure ensure that meshes or grilles are fitted to the windows and invest in an alarm. It is also worth checking that your household insurance policy covers garden or shed equipment and find out if any minimum security standards apply.”