Police reminding people across NA to protect gardens and sheds!


Police are investigating recent reports of thefts from sheds and garages in the Garnock Valley of North Ayrshire and are today encouraging residents to review their security measures.

PC Johnson, Safer Communities Officer for North Ayrshire, said: “In recent weeks we have seen an increase in thefts from outbuildings in the Garnock Valley area. Enquiries are ongoing into these incidents and I would appeal to anyone with information on those involved to contact us.

“With winter behind us people are beginning to get back into their gardens, and as such are looking out their tools to prepare for the summer.

“Thieves break into sheds or target unlocked premises to steal items from that can be easily removed and resold such as lawnmowers.

“The most simple of security measures are often the best deterrent against break-ins and many are often cheap, easy and cost-effective.”

The following advice can be useful in checking your property:


- Prevent easy access to the back garden by installing locked gates. Rear fences and walls should be a minimum 1.8 to 2 metres in height.

- Consider nature’s own defences - growing aggressive shrubbery which is harder for intruders to climb through.

Ideal plants include, blue spruce, common holly, giant rhubarb, golden bamboo, firethorn, shrub rose, pencil Christmas tree, juniper and bramble.

- Security lighting around your property will act as a deterrent. Dusk to dawn low voltage LED lighting is cost effective to both install and run.

- Make sure bins are located in an area which doesn’t allow them to be easily used as a step to climb over fences/walls or access windows.

- Lock away any garden implements, furniture or tools in a secure shed, garage or outside store. They may not only be an attractive target for theft, but also items such as ladders which are useful for breaking into your home.


- Photograph valuable items of garden furniture and/or garden tools. Note and keep a record of make, model, colour and serial numbers and use a UV pen or similar to security mark them with your house number and postcode.

- You may wish to use a chain or other device to lock garden tools and furniture together to the structure which will make them harder to remove.

- Fit a good quality hasp and padlock to the door, fitted with dome headed or non-returnable screws to prevent tampering. Appropriate products that are approved as ‘Sold Secure’ or ‘Secured by Design’ should be considered. For more information visit: www.securedbydesign.com

- Secure windows and don’t give intruders the opportunity to see inside. Depending on the type of window, you could consider fitting internal window grills, heavy wire mesh or reinforced glass. You could also use curtains or opaque film. If the window opens, a window lock should be fitted.

- If you have an intruder alarm, consider extending it to cover sheds, garages and outbuildings and ensure that there is a visible external sounder box.

- If you do not have a secure shed then bring items inside – don’t leave them lying out.

The Keep Safe pages of the Police Scotland website - http://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/ - contain the latest crime prevention advice and anyone with specific queries should contact their local crime prevention officer.

Anyone with information or concerns about crime in their community is encouraged to contact Police Scotland by calling 101 (in an emergency always dial ‪999‬). Information can also be passed via the independent charity Crime Stoppers by calling ‪0800 555 111‬ where anonymity can be maintained.

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