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Shed security warning after spate of break-ins

Residents are being urged to review the security of their sheds, garages and outbuildings after a spate of break-ins in recent weeks.

Malvern Hills Community Safety Partnership is warning residents to be vigilant as there will be more opportunities for thieves to strike over the coming weeks as the nights draw in.

Reports of non-dwelling burglaries increased from 103 to 171 across the district between April and August this year, compared to the same period in 2015 – a rise of 66 per cent.

In response more than 500 postcards are being delivered to households in areas where there has been an increase in shed, garage and outbuilding burglaries offering free security checks.

They can also be booked by emailing malvernhills@westmercia.pnn.police.uk or calling the local neighbourhood policing team on 101.

Residents are also being advised to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity and to follow some simple security tips including:

  • Ensuring gates are locked so people cannot access sheds or outbuildings.
  • Visibly mark the contents of a shed or outbuilding, take photos and make notes of serial numbers on property and bicycles in case they are stolen.
  • Use external security lighting as a deterrent.
  • Use shackle padlocks and consider a shed bar to secure sheds.
  •  Use coach bolts or non-return screws to secure door hinges to prevent the removal of the shed door from its hinges.
  • Chain lawnmowers, strimmers, tools, ladders, cycles and other items to a strong anchorage point.

Inspector Deb Sanders, from West Mercia Police, said: "Residents need to give as much thought to the security of their garages and sheds as they do to their homes. Thieves are well aware that this is often not the case and find access to expensive items such as bikes, sports equipment and power tools. Please think about the value of the items you are storing and ensure you invest in the appropriate security.”

Cllr Bronwen Behan, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Community Safety on Malvern Hills District Council, added: "We want to remind people about security so residents will be fully equipped to keep their property secure. By taking some simple security precautions, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of opportunist thieves. Please remember if you do see or hear any suspicious activity, especially overnight when offences often take place, call the police straightaway on 101."