Horsham safety partnership issuing advice on avoiding summer thefts

Traceable items stickers being issued by the Horsham District Community Safety Partnership
Traceable items stickers being issued by the Horsham District Community Safety Partnership

THE HORSHAM District Community Safety Partnership is urging residents to ensure their sheds, garages and outbuildings are secure as summer approaches.

One measure which has proven useful to help deter would be thieves is the use of traceable item stickers, particularly for high value garden equipment such as mowers, strimmers or chainsaws.

Traditionally, thefts of items from sheds and outbuildings increase at this time of year and in many cases this is simply opportunist thieves who are able to take items with little effort as there is a lack of security in place.

The stickers are designed to wrap around garden equipment and have a blank space for residents’ post codes to be written on to.

By using these stickers, not only does it reduce the chance of items being stolen, it makes it much easier for the police to identify the property and return it to the owner if recovered.

Chief Inspector Sharon Parker, Horsham District commander at Sussex Police, said: “We recognise the impact this type of crime can have on people’s lives and livelihoods. Many of these crimes are opportunist and the advice given will help reduce your chances of being victim of crime.

“By marking property with these traceable stickers, it considerably improves our chances of reuniting property that is found with victims

“And by doing this it helps bring those that have committed these crimes to justice.”

The Partnership is offering two free stickers to each household.

These can be collected either from the front office at Horsham Police Station, Hurst Road, Steyning Police Station in Charlton Street and Southwater Police Station in Lintot Square as well as the reception desk at Horsham District Council’s offices in North Street.

Householders can also contact their local Police Community Support Officer by calling telephone number 101.

By taking some other simple precautions, residents can reduce the risk of being burgled and make their properties more secure:

1. Never leave anything valuable on display as it could be an invitation to a thief. Hide tools and other expensive equipment out of sight to deter an opportunist and consider lockable cabinets for particularly valuable items

2. Make sure all garages, sheds and outhouses have properly fitted locks with good quality external padlocks. Adding additional locks or other security devices will deter potential thieves who go for an easy target

3. Secure locks and door hinges with anti tamper screws or smear hard setting glue on screw heads to prevent thieves from unscrewing them. Attach bars to windows of sheds to make them more secure. If smashed, these cannot then be used as a point of entry.

4. Mark all valuable equipment with the post code and house number and take a photo of such items with a copy of the serial number and model to make it easier for police to identify if found

5. If possible, secure lawnmowers and other valuable equipment to a shed or garage wall or floor using a steel anchor and good quality chain and padlock

6. Plant prickly, deciduous shrubs next to walls and windows as an effective barrier for anyone attempting to look through windows. Also consider anything which makes a noise for pathways such as gravel or stones

7. Adding security lighting can put off or draw attention to a thief. The most appropriate form of lighting to use is high efficiency, low energy lighting, controlled by a dusk to dawn switch so that it comes on only when it’s dark. This provides a constant and uniform level of light

8. Personalise new tools with paint or similar to reduce their resale value. The marking of tools is very effective as a deterrent

9. Consider replacing standard windows make from perspex with glass and fit glass breaker alarms