Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wyre Forest garden centre surgeries (Garden Crime)

POLICE are using flower power as a way of communicating with residents.
Officers are branching out from the usual venues to hold PACT (Partners and Communities Together) surgeries at two Wyre Forest garden centres.
Customers will be able to meet the Kidderminster rural local policing team, discuss crime prevention issues and pick up advice leaflets.
Community Support Officer Kate Easthope and PC Jayne Willetts will be in the restaurant area of Barnett Hill Garden Centre near Blakedown between 5pm and 7pm on Wednesday, February 2, and then on the following Wednesdays - April 27, June 8, August 17, October 12, and December 7.
And they will be by the exit tills at Rowberrys Garden Centre on the A448 Bromsgrove Road near Chaddesley Corbett on Sunday, February 13 between 3pm and 5pm, followed by Saturday, April 9 between 10am and 12 noon, Saturday, June 4 between 11.30am and 1.30pm, Sunday, August 14 between 11.30am and 1.30pm, Saturday, October 22 between 11.30am and 1.30pm, and Sunday, December 4 between 11.30am and 1.30pm.
CSO Easthope said: “PACT surgeries are usually held at venues such as churches and schools, but increasingly we are holding them at places such as supermarkets and garden centres.
“We have already done occasional surgeries at both Barnett Hill and Rowberrys which were very well received by customers, so we thought it would be good to hold them on a regular basis.
“Keen gardeners are starting to think about spring, so while they are stocking up on new plants, they can pick up some crime prevention leaflets or have a chat about any concerns they have at the same time.
“We have arranged dates right through to the end of the year, so people know when and where we will be there and we hope they will make a note in their diaries to come and see us.”

(Reproduced from The Shuttle 26th Jan)

Gardien Tip:  The number one target is the garden shed - protect it with a Shedbar or replace it with a secure metal shed. Details at

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Appeal over Hartlepool garden theft

Police are appealing for information after animal statues and furniture were stolen from a Hartlepool garden between Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday.
At about 9.15pm the victims were disturbed by the sound of a loud bang at their home on Peakston Close, before thieves stole a one and a half foot high Border Collie statue, two grey granite geese and a grey granite curved bench with squirrels carved into it.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to call PC Steve Cranson on 01642 302178.

Information can also be passed on anonymously via Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from  26th January 2011)

Gardien Tip:  See our advice at

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Burglary spree across Southampton

SMASH AND grab burglars are on a new year rampage, using tools from people’s garden sheds to force their way in to homes.
The opportunist thieves are scaling fences, using alleyways to sneak into gardens and using hand tools to prise open doors or smash windows.
Despite overall crime being down in Southampton, there has been an unprecedented number of break-ins since the start of the year – averaging around six every night and some are happening when residents are at home.
Now police are warning residents to be extra vigilant and review their home security as they try to catch the culprits.
Since January 1, officers have received 32 reports of burglary at homes in Southampton. That’s a rise of 68 per cent against the same time last year when there were 19 reported in the same time.
The thieves are particularly targeting the Portswood and Polygon areas, where there are large numbers of shared homes while properties have also been hit in Bassett, Coxford, Millbrook and Banister Park.
Alarmingly, many of them have been left insecure, with doors or windows left unlocked. But in other cases, the burglars are forcing their way inside via the back of homes, taking gardening tools from unlocked garden sheds to prise their way in.
Police have also revealed that the problem was on the increase throughout December – with 139 house burglaries reported compared to 114 in the same period in 2009 – almost a 22 per cent rise. The range of property stolen has included everything from flat screen televisions, games consoles and games, laptops, mobile phones, photographic equipment, cash and jewellery.
Chief Inspector Stuart Murray said: “We are doing everything we can to identify offenders and bring them to justice but, we really do need householders to make it more difficult for the opportunist burglar to commit the crime in the first place.
“There are many crime prevention measures that can be implemented and our crime prevention officers or officers from our Safer Neighbourhoods teams are always willing to provide advice if required.
Chief Insp Murray added: “Once the burglar has committed the crime, they will try and dispose of the items, often for a fraction of their market price. We would therefore urge anyone who has been approached or knows of anyone who has bought unboxed items cheaply to contact us.”

Call 101 or the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.

Beat the burglars

■ Always lock external doors
■ Don’t leave keys in the door
■ Don’t leave keys or valuables near to doors or windows
■ Close and secure windows, especially at night
■ Keep an eye out for neighbours
■ Be wary of doorstep callers
■ Report any suspicious people or vehicles
■ Lock sheds and garages and keep tools locked away
■ Use timer switches to light your home and turn on radios
■ Mark property with your postcode and house number with a UV marker pen to help identify it if it’s stolen and later recovered

(Reproduced from the Southern Daily Echo, 9th January)

Gardien Tip:  Don't lock sheds with something which will be too easy to beat - at the least install a shed bar or an alarm. See the article on Shed Security at

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Crime file - 04/01/11


Cycle thieves pedalled off

Thieves stole a mountain bike from a back garden in Preston. The theft occurred at Silverdale Drive sometime between December 28 and 11am on December 30. The thieves took a red and black Korner Caldera 24-gear mountain bike, with the letters ‘XT’ on the frame.

Sprinkler thief raided garden

A thief stole garden tools and a sprinkler from a house in Worden Lane, Leyland, overnight on December 28.

Tackle stolen from garden

A fishing kit was stolen from a garden shed. The thief walked through the gate of a home in Riverside, Preston, between 10.30pm last Wednesday and 4am on Thursday, before getting into the shed and moving around a variety of items. A six-foot long sea fishing tackle bag was stolen from the shed.

Anyone with any information should call police on 08451 253545 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

(Reproduced from Lancashire Evening POst, 5th Jan 2011)

Gardien Tip: Garden sheds are the number one target for opportunist thieves. See how to protect them at

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Garden security

Thirty years ago, thefts from gardens were quite rare, mainly being limited to pranksters swapping neighbours' gates around or transferring a collection of gnomes from one garden to another. There was the odd overnight theft of freshly laid turf or a newly planted shrub, or a bicycle left out, but on the whole gardens, particularly back gardens, were safe from thieves. Even garden tools seemed untouchable, probably because it was too difficult to find a ready buyer for a 15-year old rake or a rusty lawnmower. To sell on garden plants or tools, the thief needed a market with plenty of potential customers, and there is no doubt that the arrival of the car boot sale in the 1980s contributed to a big rise in garden theft, which has continued to grow steadily since.

It is so easy to sell anything to an unsuspecting shopper in the commotion and anonymity of a boot sale. At these events, you will often find somebody selling garden equipment such as old fork handles, spades and seven different lawnmowers. In many cases, these may be the legitimate remnants of several house clearance sales, but someone with 23 planted hanging baskets of different types, all with different plants, has to make you wonder.

During the past two decades, there has been a big rise in the general popularity of gardening and entertaining in the garden. For many, the garden has become an outdoor 'room', with comfortable furniture, cooking facilities and shelter, a place to while away more and more time in the summer. DIY stores and garden centres offer a tempting range of garden accessories, such as dining tables and chairs, heaters and gas barbecues (all designed to be left outside), mature potted trees, and a wide range of statuary and sculptures. Thus, the outlet for stolen property has been matched by a greater availability of property to plunder. Moreover, the fact that many of our homes are better secured may have displaced the risk to the garden instead.

Marking your garden property is one of the most valuable things you can do to safeguard it, because if it is stolen, at least the police will be able to return it to you if it's recovered. It's an unfortunate fact that most of the garden equipment and furniture that comes into the hands of the police cannot be traced to the rightful owners simply because it lacks identification. A lot of this unmarked property is eventually auctioned off, the proceeds going to charity.

Despite this apparently bleak picture, it must be remembered that garden theft is very opportunistic. Often, exercising common sense and taking a few simple precautions will be enough to deter the garden thief. This section will help you improve your garden security, but remember that the boundary fences and walls are your first line of defence. Get these right and install an appropriate level of security and aesthetic lighting around the garden.

(Reproduced from  2nd January 2011)

Gardien Tip:  All the above is sound advice. The products to solve the issues can be found at