Officials have shared a number of tips to fight crime and avoid becoming a victim of crime.
A police spokesman said: “Brighter nights often mean criminals are in search of easy prey in gardens, sheds and garages.
“As the weather gets warmer we all spend more time outdoors, but we also all get a little lax about leaving our belongings lying around and locking our sheds and garages when we use them.
“Popular criminals are constantly searching sheds, garages and yards for bicycles, tools, sports equipment and fishing tackle.
“So if you haven’t checked your security for a while, we would urge you to look at your sheds, garages and outbuildings and see how secure they really are.”
Safety tips include:
○ Make sure your shed or garage is secured with a quality lock.
○ Keep back doors locked when not in use.
○ Ensure there are no rubbish bins, compost bins or trees that could be used to climb over your garden fence to gain access – consider planting thorn bushes inside the fence.
○ Do you have security/motion sensor lights? They can be a great deterrent if your home or yard is shielded from streetlights.
○ Thread a strong chain through the handles of your gardening tools and connect the ends with a strong padlock. If possible, attach a large metal eyelet to part of the shed frame and thread the chain through it. Alternatively, you can also install a lockable cabinet.
○ Besides protecting property in sheds and garages, humans can also prevent thieves from stealing plants by using heavy flowerpots that are less easy to walk away with.
○ Many shed windows are never used if that is the case – why not screw them shut. Installing grilles or steel bars over the window from the inside allows light in, but means the thief has to go through a lot of effort to remove them. Replace broken glass with laminated glass.
○ If you have a household alarm, consider extending it to cover your outbuildings or fit a custom shed/garage alarm.
○ Check your home policy to see if you are covered in the event of a burglary.
○ If you have an expensive bike or motorcycle, make sure you have a quality lock that will secure it when not in use.
○ For reference, include a description and photos of your bikes, golf clubs, fishing gear, tools and any other valuable property for free on www.immobilise.com.
○ Also consider marking your belongings with a visible permanent marker (e.g. permanent paint, engraving or permanent marker pen) or if you prefer with an invisible marker (UV pens etc.). It is recommended that you precede your zip code with your address number so that any stolen goods found can be identified and returned to the owner.