Keep your pre-Christmas storage secure
New Forest businesses are warned they may be targeted by thieves as they increase their outdoor storage space to hold stock in the busy run-up to Christmas.
As the dark evenings close in, meat, drink and other foodstuffs kept in storage ready for the festive season are high on the burglars' wishlists.
The Safer New Forest Partnership also urges householders and farmers to be vigilant and take steps to secure their property, particularly vulnerable outbuildings, sheds and garages, from intruders.
New Forest Chief Inspector Tony Rowlinson said: "I would advise businesses and residents alike to protect their property from burglars, especially when valuable goods are left in outdoor buildings which may be easier to access.
"Secure your outbuildings and don't leave anything of high value on show or unprotected."
To reduce the risk of your premises becoming the targets of thieves, the following advice can help improve your security:
- Ensure that all outside storage facilities, such as sheds and containers, are locked with a heavy duty secure padlock. Safer New Forest offers a high quality padlock with a built-in alarm for £10, which can be purchased through New Forest District Council information centres.
- Fit good quality locks to gates, entrances and on any portable machinery on your land.
- Improve outdoor security with external passive infra-red lights, CCTV and alarms.
- Do not park vehicles or store large items, such as bins, against a fence as this will provide easier access.
- Keep tools and high-value goods, including metal, out of sight and locked away. Store your most valuable items inside your main property if possible.
- Report any suspicious activity with descriptions of suspects and vehicles.
- Always ask workmen for ID - criminals may adopt disguises to access your property and gain your trust.
- Security mark your property and display notices saying your property is security marked. The Safer New Forest Partnership is currently testing DNA coding security marking kits - look out for more details shortly.
- You can register your property for free on www.immobilise.com