I’ve been contacted by reader Amanda who’s concerned after witnessing a possible local bike theft in the past few days – she contacted the police and the incident was reposrted, but she’s concerned that this may be an ongoing issue together with shed burglaries and other opportunist thefts.
Amanda is worried that she sees many bikes left lying unlocked outside houses (and I do too – also lying on the ground outside shops, etc). – lock your bike. Even the cheapest, crapppiest lock will stop some scumonkey just picking it up and riding off. A decent lock can be a bit more but all locks work against the most casual thief.
Find out more about how to lock your bike here.
Brownhills Councillor Steve Wade kindly forwarded me the press release below last year; it contains good advice for locking and securing garages and sheds.
Please ensure you lock all your outbuildings, and secure your premises as best you can. Don’t leave valuables on view in cars, and make sure anything that could be used in a burglary – ladders, garden tools etc. – is securely stowed away.
If you’re offered cheap tools, car stereo equipment or gardening kit, think hard about where it might have come from, and by all means grub the people flogging them into the rozzers – the stuff is probably nicked. Next time, it could be your stuff they take.
Community message from West Midlands Police
Weather forecasters are predicting a cold spell over coming days. So with this in mind it is unlikely that you’ll be rushing to get the tools or ladders out of the shed or garage. But are your belongings securely locked away?
With temperatures set to plummet it may seem a strange time to be issuing crime prevention advice about sheds and gardens, but Walsall Police has seen an increase in thefts from outbuildings. Therefore officers are keen to remind residents to lock everything away and freeze out criminals.
‘Gone are the days when a garden shed was full of items such as half-empty paint tins, surplus plant pots and a medium wave radio. They are now home to expensive electrical items, top of the range bikes and a whole host of other items on the wish list of opportunist criminals,’ said Sergeant Lee Nicholls.
‘It is important that residents see their shed or garage as an extension to your house and afford it the same levels of crime prevention.’
Officers are offering the below advice to keep gardens and sheds safe:
- Put away all tools and equipment. Ensure sheds are locked when not in use.
- Install outside security lighting which comes on automatically at dusk.
- If you have a burglar alarm, extend it to cover outbuildings and sheds
- Register your valuables for free on the national property database www.immobilise.com
Officers are increasing patrols in Pelsall and Rushall following reports of theft from sheds. If you see anyone acting suspiciously please contact officers on 101. Dial 999 if a crime is in progress.
Sergeant Nicholls added: ‘It may be the case that you haven’t even been in your shed since the summer so with this in mind we’d ask you to take a few minutes to check it is secure. In fact when officers have carried out patrols they have found a number of sheds unlocked and easily accessible.
‘Therefore we’re asking home owners to look at their shed from the perspective of a thief… does it look secure? Could security be improved?’
Visit www.west-midlands.police.uk for further crime prevention advice