Hertfordshire advice to keep your garden safe this spring

Police are appealing for witnesses

Police are appealing for witnesses

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Herts Police have relaunched their annual spring crime prevention campaign Operation Gnome.

The scheme helps residents to keep their gardens, sheds and allotments secure by offering seasonal advice.

With the improving weather many people might be buying new gardening tools or splashing out on new leisure equipment, meaning gardens or outbuilding can be targeted by thieves.

During the spring burglars tend to target sheds, garages and outbuildings, looking for power tools, bikes and other expensive items.

Advice includes:

· Always lock your shed, preferably with two ‘hasp and staple’ locks (one near the top and one near the bottom of the door) or use or an alarmed padlock;

· Secure your rear garden by locking entry gates with a padlock;

· Burglars can use garden tools to break in, so make sure you securely lock away any tools after use;

· Ensure boundary fences are secure and in good condition. Spiky plants along garden boundaries are good additional deterrents;

· Tools and gardening equipment should be visibly marked with your postcode and house number - this can deter thieves and help police identify the rightful owner;

· Remember to lock your garage door securely. Metal ‘up and over’ doors can be secured with extra locks fitted either side and/or a floor-mounted locking ‘T’ bar with a closed shackle padlock. Wooden garage doors can be secured with two substantial ‘hasps and staple’ locks and closed shackle padlocks (your local DIY store can advise on the most secure options);

· Join Neighbourhood Watch or Allotment Watch to help reduce crime in your local area.

For more detailed security advice, visit www.herts.police.uk/crimeprevention or contact us on 101.