A special project has been launched in Ashfield to combat a predicted springtime increase in thefts from garden sheds and outbuildings.
For the last three years Ashfield has seen a marked increase in thefts from garden sheds and outbuildings in April and May, with these and similar offences accounting for between 10 and 15 per cent of all crime in the area.
As a result, Ashfield Community Safety Partnership is funding an awareness-raising campaign in conjunction with Crimestoppers, to remind people about securing their sheds and protecting the property stored in them and to encourage people to anonymously pass on information about anyone they know is involved in these thefts.
Posters, leaflets, radio adverts and personal contact with groups such as allotment holders are all part of the campaign.
Advice that is being given to make sheds and outbuildings more secure includes securing doors and windows with a close shackle padlock on the door and locks or heavy mesh for windows and using security lighting or shed alarms.
Property should also be postcode marked.
Community Safety Officer Marsha Mann said: “It is amazing when you think of the value of items that people keep in their sheds that often they don’t invest a few pounds in making them secure.
“In many cases they are not well protected and in some cases are not locked at all.”
Bruce Cameron, chairman of Nottinghamshire Crimestoppers, said: “We are delighted to be working with Ashfield Community Safety Partnership in asking people to help make a real difference in their community.
“We hope to encourage those who may be intimidated by criminals to contact us completely anonymously by phone on 0800 555 111 or anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.
“No personal information is taken, calls are not traced or recorded and you will not have to go to court or give a statement to the police.”