Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Met Police tell Londoners to use plants to protect your home and garden

Police have suggested Londoners use the natural protection of plants to protect their homes and gardens from burglars.A Metropolitan Police crime prevention report says most burglars are lazy and look for easy ways of breaking into houses and gardens.
One suggestion for guarding against invaders is to plant creeping juniper (Juniperis horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’), which is also known as ‘Blue Rug’ because it has long branches and its prostrate shape forms a flattened blue carpet. It has a thorny stem and foliage
Common holly (Ilex agulfolium) is also a suggestion because of its spiked leaves
Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) is also recommended as it can form clumps up to 3.5metres high. It is less invasive than other bamboos.
In general any plant, shrub or tree which has spines or spiked leaves can help keep your home safe, police say.
Other bits of advice are to bring any tools inside and install outside security lighting which comes on automatically.
Photograph any valuable plants or ornaments and mark your property with your postcode as this makes it easier to trace.
Ensure that your household insurance policy covers theft from your garden and outbuildings.

(Reproduced from London24, 28th Feb 2012)

Gardien Comment: See the advice at http://www.garden-security.co.uk/planting-protection.aspx

Monday, February 27, 2012

Police make arrests as cycle thefts rise in Kingston


Police have arrested six suspected bike thieves this month as new figures revealed bicycle thefts in the borough had risen 20 per cent.
A working party of cycling campaigners, officers and the council has been meeting monthly since September to tackle the problem, which centres on Grove ward.
Schools in the area, which covers Kingston station and the town centre, have been given free marking kits, while police have put public education posters near bike racks.
Cycle campaigner Jon Fray, who sits on the new working party, said tactics needed to shift from marking bikes to preventing them being taken in the first place.
He said: “We were quite encouraged because first off [the police] said ‘Whatever we have been doing in the past has not been working and we have to do something differently’.”
A total of 488 bikes were recorded stolen in Kingston between April 2011 and last month, compared with 408 in the same period last year, the seventh biggest increase in London.
However, Kingston police said the five-year trend in bike thefts in Kingston remained flat, despite an increase in ownership during the period.
Sergeant James Waddington said: “Most of the bikes stolen are taken from children. Late for school, dashing off to join their friends, it is all too easy to hope their discarded bike will be there when they return. There is no guarantee it will be.
"Some thieves just take them for a quick trip and then dump the bike elsewhere.
"Without the frame being registered, or at the very least the bike being marked via permanent chemical etching with an invisible postcode, it is hard for us to rejoin bike and owner.”
Police advised people to buy good locks for their bicycles, and secure their garden shed if they kept their bikes there.
- Two men were arrested on Thursday, February 16, and have been charged with bike theft and going equipped. They have been bailed until Friday, March 30.
(Reproduced from Yourlocalguardian.co.uk 27th Feb 2012)
Gardien Comment: See the article on Bike Security at http://www.garden-security.co.uk/bike-security-print.htm

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Slate slab thefts on rise in village

LARGE slate slabs have been stolen in what appear to be night-time raids on two areas of Delabole.
One, a 6ft x 2ft wide slab, was taken from the wall of the Pengelly Memorial Garden while three others, 5ft x 2ft, were taken from outside local authority bungalows in Water Lane.
The three in Water Lane had been concreted in when the bungalows were built, so the thieves must have used tools to dislodge them, residents believed.
The thefts are part of a growing pattern of garden ornaments and other property being removed from parks and gardens in North Cornwall and other areas, as the price of such items increases. All had originally come from the Delabole Slate Quarry in the village.
"The slates were on the wall in front of my property," said Chris Finnemore, one of the residents.
"They were a good half an inch thick and concreted in, so someone must have used a crow bar to lift them as they were very heavy."
"We noticed they were gone on Tuesday, and the thieves must have used a vehicle to take them away.
"They were definitely there on Friday, so we think they were taken at some time over the weekend.
"No one saw them so they must have done it at night.
"The slates were right next door to my bungalow, and if I had seen someone there doing anything I would have asked them what's going on?"
"It looks awful now – all jagged edges and concrete."
Nigel Hicks noticed a large slate had gone from the Pengelly Memorial Garden adjoining the former chapel where he runs his carpentry and joinery business.
"The chapel was built in 1870, so I think the slates must have been here since then," he said.
"I think the big slab was taken overnight on Sunday or Monday. Those slabs have been here all those years, and for someone to take one is a sad old job."
There have been reports of more large slate slabs missing from other areas in Delabole over the past few days.
Police at Camelford said the theft of 250 slates, worth £750, from a barn conversion at Lesnewth, near Boscastle, and five large slates from West Down Road, Delabole, had also been reported over the same period.
PC Laurie O'Toole, of Camelford, said it appeared the thieves drove around and spotted the slates during the day and returned under cover of darkness to steal them. He appealed to people to take the number of any suspicious vehicles in their area.
Anyone with information should call 101, quoting crime reference BC/12/45.
(Reproduced from ThisIsCornwall 23rd Feb)
Gardien Comment: See advice and recommended products to minimise outdoor theft at www.garden-security.co.uk

Thursday, February 16, 2012

BEAMINSTER: Garden ornament thefts on the rise

The latest theft of stone ornaments happened last week as late night thieves continue to target the town and its rural outskirts.
Nearby Thorncombe has also been the target of thieves in recent weeks.
Two stone garden ornaments were stolen from addresses in Beaminster and Thorncombe overnight between the February 1st and 2nd.
A stone birdbath supported by cherubs was stolen from Beaminster and a large lady figure with a green bronze effect was stolen from Thorncombe.
PC Mike Brown, Bridport Town Community Beat Officer, said thefts of this kind appeared to be on the increase.
He said: “We are getting an increased amount of calls for thefts of these kind of ornaments.
“The thefts are generally happening overnight and in the more rural areas.
“I would urge people to report anything suspicious that they hear at night. These items are heavy and will generally be taken away on a vehicle.
“If you hear vehicles during the night near your property and it is unusual then please call the police.”
Residents are being urged to uniquely mark ornaments in a way that may assist police to trace stolen goods.
PC Brown said: “Instead of accepting that crime is part of society, let’s give the courts the facts and allow them to decide.
“It may be your evidence, which successfully secures a conviction.”
Anyone with information on the above offences or any other crimes should contact the police direct on 101, or speak to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111– all calls will be treated in confidence.

(Reproduced from Lyme Media and Events - Lyme Regis 8th Feb)

Gardien Comment: See our advice re Outdoor Items at http://www.garden-security.co.uk/outdoor-items-security.aspx

Now it's Garden Gates

Police join forces over metal theft
POLICE in Glanymor and Tyisha have revealed scrap metal thieves are resorting to stealing garden gates as they join forces to tackle the problem.
Officers spoke at the latest meeting of the Safer Communities Action Group, where they made scrap metal thefts a joint priority for the coming month.
PCSO Arwel Davies said: "There is an initiative running regarding scrap metal thefts, which is a problem nationwide, but for the ward there have been seven theft crimes relating to scrap.
"There is nothing of note to say they are targeting particular areas.
"For the residents and the community, what we would advise is to be aware that they will take basically what they think is people's rubbish, whether it's from their gardens or outside their gates.
"Or in some cases they're even taking the gates themselves.
"Gates have been taken from vacant properties where they think they are old.
"We are addressing it and certain offenders are known to us.
"There are operations in line with the nationwide Operation Beagle to deal with this."
Updating the group on crime figures for the past two months, PCSO Davies added that there had also been eight burglaries in the Glanymor ward, one of which had been detected.
PCSO Simon Lewis said there were four shed break-ins and five forced entry burglaries in the neighbouring Tyisha ward between November 17 and December 29.
"One property was entered via an insecure rear door," he said.
"We are looking at maybe having a burglary initiative in the new year to get that figure down.
"The figures have dropped since Christmas but we will take it forward as an initiative.
"We have also had two offenders arrested regarding burglaries, and they have admitted to a high number of burglaries committed before Christmas."

(Reproduced from This Is South Wales, 16th Feb)

Gardien Comment: Anything metal continues to be highly vulnerable. For advice and solutions see www.garden-security.co.uk

Monday, February 6, 2012

Garden thieves leave Durham pensioner "completely shattered"

A PENSIONER devastated by burglars who stole cherished ornaments from her garden says she will never sit outside again because the area has been left “contaminated”.Wheelchair-user and great-grandmother Myrtle Lightfoot, 86, said she was shattered and her health has suffered after she discovered a range of garden ornaments had been stolen from her garden in Gilesgate, Durham City, overnight last Saturday.
In a letter to The Northern Echo, she tells the thieves: “If you send me a postcard, I will tie a big yellow ribbon on the garden table and chairs, brass plaque and other items you left behind, and put them by the front gate so you can collect them. To me they feel contaminated.
“I hope you can sleep well – because I certainly can’t, listening for noises.”
Last night, Mrs Lightfoot explained: “The thieves may as well take everything else. I’ll never sit in my back garden again.”
The great-grandmother-of-eight and grandmother-of- 16, has lived at the property with her son, Gary, for 22 years. The garden ornaments were given as gifts by relatives.
Among the items taken were a goddess sculpture, a fairy figurine and cherubs.
Together, they were originally worth several hundred pounds.
Mrs Lightfoot learnt of the theft when her daughter, Joyce Todd, visited on Sunday morning.
A garden table and chairs had been moved from the far end of her back garden and left by her gate, leading her to conclude the thieves were disturbed or planned to return.
She said: “I’ve felt completely shattered ever since. I don’t know what these people are thinking.
“It’s awful – coming into people’s gardens and disrupting their lives. They must have come right past my back door.”
Her letter continues: “The garden ornaments taken were bought over the years by my family for me.
“As I cannot go for walks like I once did, my pleasure in the summer was our lovely back garden.
“I only hope what was special to me gives you, or the person you sold them to, as much pleasure as they did me.”
To report or provide information on a crime, call Durham Police’s new non emergency number, 101.

(Reproduced from the Durham Times, 4th Feb 2012)

Gardien Comment: Sadly too common an occurrence and frequently not reported. For advice on how to protect your garden contents, see www.garden-security.co.uk