STONEHOUSE residents are being asked to help stamp out garden thefts by following police crime prevention advice.
Since the start of the summer, officers have responded to more than 50 cases of items being stolen from private gardens in the Cotswold and Stroud area - not including garden tools. Sergeant Kirk Harrison from the Stonehouse Safer Community Team said: "It is easy to forget that your garden has valued possessions that thieves would love to steal, especially during the summer months.
"Patio furniture, barbecues, hammocks and parasols are all targets, but there are several simple actions you can take to prevent becoming a victim.
"Make sure you put away all tools and equipment and that any outdoor sheds are securely locked when not in use.
"Bring any tools inside if you do not have a secure outbuilding.
"Tables and benches can be secured to the patio using bolts and you could consider installing outside lighting.
"Not only will good lighting enhance your garden it can also be a major deterrent to thieves."
He added that the best type to install is low-level lighting at dusk and dawn, which will give good illumination, is cheap to run, and will remain on all night.
Officers also advise marking items so that they can be identified if they are stolen - making them far less attractive to thieves.
Photographing valuable items such as planters, statues, staddle stones and garden ornaments will also help police identify them.
Homeowners are also advised to check whether their household insurance policy covers theft from gardens and outbuildings. More information about keeping your home and property safe can be found on the crime reduction pages of the Gloucestershire police website at www.gloucestershire.police.uk
(Reproduced from Stroud News and Journal, 4th August)
GARDIEN TIP: Advice re all the above and high quality security products can be found at http://www.garden-security.co.uk/