April 2021


Outbuildings, particularly sheds, are often seen as easy targets for criminals – they are frequently left unlocked and some are in a poor state of repair.  Sheds are not designed to store valuable equipment and property; yet many of us do use them in this way – so it makes sense to take some simple measures to make them more secure and make it as difficult as possible for a criminal to get in.

The following measures are recommended to increase security:


Most shed doors open outwards with the hinges exposed.  To prevent these from being removed to gain access replace the screws with dome head coach bolts. 

 Most thieves gain entry by forcing off the lock.  Use a heavy-duty hasp and staple and secure them with suitable coach bolts and locking nuts or tamper-proof screws.  (Note – it is worth remembering that any staple / hasp etc. is only as good as the wood it is fixed to, so, even if the fittings are high quality, if the wood is rotten, it won’t be secure!)

The padlock needs to be a good quality hardened steel of the close shackle type to prevent it being cut off.

Fit a battery (or mains) operated alarm to your shed.



Prevent thieves from seeing what is in your shed / garage / outbuilding by using frosted window film (on the inside) or putting up net curtains.

Fit metal grills to windows to secure them.



 Security mark items with your postcode and house number – use visible property marking options such as SelectaMark or Cremark.  Also consider using brightly coloured paint to mark your property to enable it to be identified from a distance.  Ideally, write your postcode and house number (then they can be returned to you if they are stolen and subsequently recovered).  If your items are easily identifiable the thief may be deterred from taking the item in the first place. (I had a relative who did this – although his motive was that friends used to borrow tools and not return them!)

Some items may lend themselves to having the postcode etched, or even chiselled, on. We would advise against keeping high value bicycles etc. in a shed, but if this can’t be avoided, chain tools, cycles and other valuable items together using a high security chain and good quality padlock.  Anchor the chain to the wall or the floor.

Secure access to your shed and garden by locking gates and using thorny bushes next to walls and fences to prevent climbing.

A lighting system (e.g. PIR – movement sensor) that covers the area of the shed / outbuilding can deter criminals.

Take photographs of any valuable items and make a note of any serial numbers.  Register them (free) at www.immobilise.com.  (Note: this database is one that is checked by the police when they are tracing the owner of a marked item of property).



        When you have finished with your tools put them away in a secure location out of sight. 

(A spade or garden fork is a useful implement to break in via a door or window of your, or your neighbours, property!)


        Ladders – chain them up to a secure point with a strong chain and padlock.


IMPORTANT - Please remember to secure your shed / garage etc. - several crimes have been committed in the past where they had been left unlocked and the thieves just walked in!


Shed alarms, coach bolts, heavy duty hasps and staples etc., as well as property marking kits, can be purchased from various DIY stores and online retailers. 

CRIMES* REPORTED 15.03.21 – 12.04.21      *Acquisitive Crime + Damage

(Excludes crimes of a domestic nature, neighbour / employment disputes, non-payment of goods, e.g. shop thefts)


Time of Day





0300 hrs


Beech Avenue

2 unknown male offenders stole 2 garden chairs from rear garden of property




Anyone can now forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk.  When you forward a suspicious email to this address, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will analyse it and any websites it links to and also look for, and monitor, suspicious activity.

Although the NCSC is unable to inform you of the outcome of its review of any email(s) you have forwarded, they state that they do act upon every message received.


[Note: The NCSC do state that sometimes, in a small number of cases, when reporting to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (i.e. 'report@phishing.gov.uk') an email may not reach their service due to it already being widely recognised by spam detection services; your email may ‘bounce back’ in this case.  The vast majority of reports do reach their system and they urge people to keep reporting any suspicious emails they receive].


Please note this service is for suspicious emails you have received but not acted upon.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud or cyber-crime, please contact your bank immediately and also inform Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or contact www.actionfraud.police.uk.



Suspicious text messages can be forwarded to 7726. This free-of-charge short code enables your provider to investigate the origin of the text and take action, if found to be malicious. (An easy way to remember the number ‘7726’ is that they are the numbers on your phone keypad that spell out the word ‘SPAM’).



I regularly ask residents to report all crimes on 101. I fully appreciate that, if it is classed as a minor crime and / or there is little chance of there being any evidence to assist in the identification of an offender, then it is unlikely that the Police will attend.  However, this does not mean that it is a waste of time.  Whenever our Neighbourhood Policing Inspector, Sergeant and beat team (Neighbourhood Policing Team), come on duty, they check all the crimes reported in the area since they were last on duty, so they keep abreast of what is / has been happening. Sometimes our team will do follow-up enquiries.  Also, if a pattern emerges, they will be able to plan a course of action in an attempt to catch the offender(s) and / or prevent further such offences from happening.


In addition, the Neighbourhood Policing Teams based at Arnold, of which ours is one, have been reduced in size in recent years – when decisions are taken to reduce manpower, one consideration will be the workload in the area.  The senior officers will make a judgement on this aspect largely based on what crimes / incidents have been reported in a given time frame.

Sue Harris


For further advice please visit our website: www.ravensheadneighbourhoodwatch.co.uk

To contact RNW email us at rnwinfo@yahoo.co.uk or leave a message for us on 07583 296 466