You can reduce the risk of allotment crime by making sure you’ve taken these simple steps:
- Fit good quality mortise locks to BS 3261 standard or closed shackle Sold Secure police approved padlocks and hasps.
- Don’t forget hinges as they can be a weak point, so use coach bolts or one-way security screws so they cannot easily be undone.
- Cycle locks and good quality closed shackle Sold Secure approved padlocks and chains can be used to secure equipment to a strong anchor point or to each other using a closed shackle padlock.
- Protect your shed with a ‘shed bar’ across the door to prevent access. This and other approved security products will improve the security of your shed or outbuilding and can be found at www.soldsecure.com or www.securedbydesign.com.
- Consider whether you really do need a window as it is another way in for thieves. Make sure you lock windows and either paint over or cover the glass to avoid people looking in to see what you have to steal. Wire mesh can be used on the inside to improve overall security.
- Remove high value items and store at home.
- Gates should be securely locked out of hours and have anti-climb features.
- Perimeter fencing should be in good condition, visually open, 2m high, (removed) so any suspicious or criminal activity can be seen.
- Consider planting thorny shrubs inside the fence at low level to stop climbing. Shrubs/trees adjacent to fencing gates should not provide climbing aids.
- If shed alarms are in use, consider noise to adjacent properties and have procedures in place for if the alarms are activated. If secluded, consider GPS alarms or similar.
- If there is an electricity supply, good levels of lighting are advised especially if allotments can be seen from passing members of the public via footpaths, adjacent properties and roads.
- Make a property list detailing the make, model, serial number, value and description of valuable items. Use photographs to aid identification.
- Overtly mark your property with your house number and postcode so that marking is permanent and property is less attractive for a thief to sell. See property marking section for more information.
- Consider setting up an ‘asset register’ for the whole allotment scheme.
- Consider investing in one large secure metal alarmed container for the storage of valuable items for all allotments.
- Consider holding property marking days with the local Safer Neighbourhood Policing team.
- Register your property at www.immobilise.com. This is a free web based property registration service approved by the police.