Whilst Cheshire is a very safe place to live, work and visit there are occasions when unscrupulous people commit crime which are often undertaken when a criminal sees an opportunity.
There are simple measures you can take to reduce risk of becoming a victim of crime which help to keep both you, your family and the rural community safe.
What can I do to prevent myself becoming a victim of crime?
- Lock and deadbolt external doors in your home, outbuildings and gates.
- Use motion sensors and security lighting at night.
- Ensure shrubs and plants are kept trimmed to allow full visibility around your property.
- Visibly mark serial numbers on tools, equipment and vehicles.
- Mark your property using forensic type property products such as Selecta DNA, and use appropriate signage to advertise this.
- Never leave keys in vehicles, agricultural plant or other equipment.
- Ensure your vehicles are locked and secure when not in use. Farm vehicles can be particular vulnerable to theft.
- Keep outdoor storage areas neat and well organised so any theft will be immediately noticed.
- Register your personal items of value on a free on-line database such as www.immobilise.com.
HOW SECURE IS YOU'RE SHED, GARAGE AND GARDEN
Many people take great care when securing their homes but pay little attention to the security of their sheds, garages or outbuildings that are often used to store valuable property.
Ensure your shed is in good condition and would stand up to a security test. If not, take steps to improve it or don't leave valuable items such as lawn mowers, golf clubs and bicycles inside.
Secure your shedUse a closed shackle padlock not less than 2.5 inches in width, made of hardened steel with no less than five pins. A standard small padlock with hasp can easily be forced or cut by bolt cutters.The fittings should be bolted through the door of the shed and reinforced at the back with a steel plate.The hasp should have concealed screws or coach bolts fitted.Use the lock at all times.Protect glass by fitting a grille or strong wire mesh to the inside of the window and fit locks to any window that can be opened.Prevent anyone seeing into your shed by placing curtains or other coverings over the window or blacken out with paint.Make sure that you can see your shed from the house. If it is obstructed from view a thief has a better chance of breaking in without being seen.Mark valuable items with Smart Water.
GaragesA drive post on the outside of an up-and-over door. It will stop the door being opened and is a visible deterrent.Good quality closed shackle padlocks with hasp and staple on either side of the door.Five leaver mortise locks to connecting doors if the garage is attached to the main building. Make sure the lock comply with British Standard 3621.Fitting a simple, low cost, battery operated shed alarm to the door of your shed or garage will warn of any attempted break into your property and act as a deterrent.Mark valuable items with Selecta DNA.
Much of the advice for garden sheds also applies to garages. In addition you should consider fitting:
Deterring burglarsInstall security lights to illuminate the front porch and/or the garden. There are two types; lights that come on automatically, when it is dark and turn themselves off when its light or lights operated by sensors that come on when movement is detected.Keep shrubs, hedges and large plants cut back. They can provide a screen for thieves to work behind.Keep your boundary fences, walls and gates in good condition as they provide a barrier to the would-be thief. It is recommended that fences are maintained at a height of 1.8 m at the sides and rear of the house with gates that are lockable at the same height.Keep an eye out on your neighbour's property and encourage them to do the same for you. Report anything suspicious to the police.Consider setting up, or becoming members of a neighbourhood watch scheme.
As well as making your property secure as you can also make it difficult for a thief to get it. Here are some simple steps: