Factsheet #3




This is NOT good shed security, but fairly typical of the importance most people give it!


Sheds and garages have always been easy-pickings for thieves and until recently

break-ins have mainly occurred during winter and spring. This year however, there has been no let-up and we have seen offences occurring almost daily.


Whilst the police are doing everything they can to prevent, deter and detect these offences, home-owners also have a clear part to play if we are to reduce these thefts and keep your possessions where they should be – in your shed or garage, not in the thief’s.


Please take a moment to read through these ten top tips and implement as many of the suggestions as you can…


1. Site the shed as close to your house as possible – This will make it harder for the thief to break-in without being noticed.

2. Add a perimeter of crunchy gravel around the shed or garage, and plant some nice thorny plants under the windows. Pyracantha, Berberis and Common Hawthorn are popular and effective.

3. Obscure shed and garage windows with net curtains or whitewash - A burglar seldom steals what he can't see.

4. If your garage has a rear door, fit it with a 5-lever mortise lock certified to BS 3621. Try to do the same for your shed, but if the door is not suitable, fit a "close-shackled" padlock instead and ensure that the fittings are bolted into the shed, not just screwed.


Examples of “Close-Shackled” padlocks.

They offer little scope for the use of bolt-croppers.

Ensure that the hasp and staple are bolted in place



5. For ALL outward-opening doors, fit hinge-bolts in the back edge of the door. These prevent a thief from opening it by removing the hinges.


A typical hinge bolt



6. For sheds, if the door isn't suitable for hinge bolts, make the hinges harder to remove by bolting them to the door or by drilling out the screw heads.

7. If your garage has an up-and-over door, you can secure it from the inside by drilling a hole in each runner, just above the wheel, (with the door is in the closed position). Snap a padlock through each hole and you now have a simple device to block the wheel's movement and stop the door opening.

8. Secure cycles, mowers, strimmers, hedge-trimmers etc., with a lockable steel cable and ground anchor. - Thieves like to work fast, so slow them down!

Some cables come complete with an alarm

A typical ground anchor.

For extra safe security, look for the “Sold Secure” charter-mark

9. Visibly mark removable items. Thieves seldom steal property that can be traced back to its owner. Visible marking makes it obvious to a thief that the item is traceable. - For details of suitable products, contact your local Crime Prevention Officer - See below.

Visible marking is an excellent deterrent

10. Fit an alarm. If you have a house alarm, you should extend it to cover your garage. Otherwise, you can always invest in a simple battery-operated alarm to protect your shed, garage, caravan or boat. Most have a volume of around 130db and few burglars will be able to stay in the protected area for more than a few seconds. - Uttlesford Neighbourhood Watch has a range of home security products available through their website, including an excellent shed/garage alarm.

Visit the security shop at www.uttlesfordnhw.org.uk for more information.


Lighting: There are mixed views about lighting these days. Movement-activated lights are not the deterrent they once were, because they can be switched on by animals and moving trees etc. Accordingly, very few people react when their light comes on, and once you're asleep, would you even know about it?

To be effective, you need to be able to adjust the sensitivity so that only something human size will activate it. You should also try to find the type that has a buzzer plug that you can plug into your bedroom socket. This will buzz whenever the light comes on. Remember, if it's properly adjusted, you should not get any false alarms.

Security lights with alarms are available from the internet for around £35.




C.C.T.V: Domestic CCTV is becoming increasingly popular and it can be acquired from many different retail sources such as catalogue showrooms and the Internet.

There is currently no legislation that applies to domestic CCTV – as an individual, you cannot breach someone else’s Human Rights, and the Data Protection Act does not apply to you. However, as a good citizen, you should avoid allowing your camera/s to intrude upon your neighbour’s privacy.

CCTV tends to be reactive, so it’s important that cameras are well-placed to give the best evidence. Here are a couple of tips for you about installing CCTV at your home:

1.   Avoid just having wide-angle views of your house – It is pointless watching an offence being committed, if the suspect is too small on the screen to be identified.

2.   Use “pinch-points.”  Choose an area such as a gateway that a suspect is likely to use, and fit a camera that will capture him or her full face. Ensure that the image occupies a minimum of 50% of the screen.  As long as you have at least one pinch-point covered, you can then use other cameras for wide-angle views to see what he or she gets up to.

3.   Ensure that there is sufficient light for the cameras to work at night. If not then you should install some additional lighting, or use cameras fitted with infra-red lights. If the latter, ensure that the IR lights provide enough light for the cameras to see across the distance you want to observe.

4.   Ensure that the equipment applies a time and date stamp to all the images.

Some small cameras are only really suitable for watching your front door.

If you choose a camera with built in IR LEDs, ensure that they will illuminate across the distance you require










I hope you have found this fact sheet useful. Please note that the advice or given does not guarantee that you will not be a victim of crime, but merely suggests measures that might deter criminal activity.  No contract, either express or implied, has been entered into between you and Essex Police, its staff, agents or servants.