A NEW scheme has been launched to scare off the burglars from Morpeth residents' gardens.
Free shed alarms are available to people in the town as part of the £1,000 funding from the former Castle Morpeth Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) put aside for security equipment. It is hoped the devices will reduce thefts of gardening tools, including from the sheds of flood victims moving back or who have yet to return to their homes. Former Community Safety Officer for the Castle Morpeth CDRP John Gray, who now works for the Northumberland County Council Community Safety Team, said: "This scheme was one of the last initiatives the Borough CDRP did before the change in local government. We came up with it to give reassurance to residents affected by the flood who are going back home or have yet to do so. The alarms have also been given to the Police for distribution to residents as the gardening season has started and with the lighter evenings as well this is one of the peak times for thefts from garden sheds. Morpeth has a low crime rate and this scheme is part of our efforts to ensure it continues."
The alarm gives off a loud siren noise to alert homeowners and neighbours. Morpeth Police Community Support Officer Matt Leonard said: "These alarms are very effective and an excellent way to reduce the amount of gardening tools being stolen so we hope residents who need one ask for them. Some of them have been given to County Community Wardens for the North area, who will take them on their patrols of the town. Warden Norman Morton said: "We have found them to be useful in the other places we have given the alarms out because they do give burglars a massive scare. They will be very important for people hit by the flood because some could have put other items in the shed as well as gardening tools. Those who would like an alarm can contact Morpeth Police on 03456 043043, or call at the station in Castle Square.
(Reproduced from the Morpeth Herald, 27th May)
GARDIEN TIP: Although alarms have some use, the thief has already entered the shed before the alarm activates and will often still grab some items of value before scarpering. Better to deter them from breaking in - see our advice at http://www.garden-security.co.uk/shed-outbuilding-security.aspx