Police Confirm Shed Theft Low Priority
12th June 2015
Avon and Somerset police have confirmed that theft from houses and garden sheds is a low priority. Speaking on BBC Radio Somerset Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour confirmed that in the 12 months ending March 2015 90% of burglars are not brought to justice, an increase of nearly 5% on the previous 12 months.
In common with other forces the rise in reported rape, domestic violence and child abuse is consuming an increasing part of their investigations budget resulting in lesser offences such as burglary being moved further down the list.
The time has come when it really is up to the householder to protect their property, and that includes the garden shed. The team at BRE that tested the construction of our DaylightSECURE for the ACPO Secured by Design standard claimed it takes an average of only twelve seconds to break into a wooden garden shed and many of the cheaper ones can be entered in far less. One officer of the Secured by Design team described cheap wooden sheds as “four fence panels with some felt on top”!
Of course nothing is fool proof against professional thieves, the recent break in at Hatton Gardens demonstrates this, but it is the amateur or opportunist thief that accounts for the majority of shed thefts. Padlocked hasps and staples, windows and exterior hinges present little difficulty to a stout screwdriver, and of course windows allow thieves the opportunity to see what is worth stealing before any entry is attempted.
But spare a thought for the Italians. I recently took an enquiry from an Italian gentleman resident between Milan and Bologna who informed me that burglary crime has increased by 40% in just one year. He has had two motorcycles stolen and a neighbour has lost six bicycles. Although the blame is targeted at Italy’s expanding migrant population the fact is that Europe offers a huge market for stolen goods and valuable bikes can provide a high illegal income. The chances are that most of the valuable bikes and garden machinery stolen in the UK are transported in vans and sold in Europe.
Houses are vulnerable to burglaries and I am amazed how many cyclists keep their prized machines in their house. Not only is it inconvenient (just ask their wives!) but the security is generally not that high. Every window is an entry point, particularly windows at the rear, and some of the wooden framed doors offer little protection to a stout lever. It comes as no surprise to me that insurance companies are asking for owners to provide better security before taking on the risk.
Ground anchors in sheds and garages are a favourite request from insurers. Here at Brodco we offer our ‘Goliath’ ground anchor that will deter the most hardened thief. Some say that it’s strong enough to anchor a ship to! We generally recommend to customers that they paint it bright yellow or similar to make it really visible. Anyone seeing the anchor, particularly anyone who can see into the shed when the door is open will immediately rule the shed out as a possible target for theft.
Unless police budgets go up substantially, as likely as an increase in flying pigs, the situation will not improve. At least our customers can have peace of mind knowing they have purchased the UK’s most secure shed.