Spate of break-ins: Police urge local householders to review security

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Following a recent spate of shed and garage break-ins in the local area, police in Antrim and Newtownabbey are reminding residents to review their outbuilding security.

Inspector Colin Ash explained: “With the recent spell of good weather it is likely we are going to be using our sheds and garages more – grass needs cut, fences painted and bikes ridden.

“A shed, garage or outbuilding is often far easier to break into and less likely to be alarmed, yet many carry small but expensive DIY tools which are easier to make off with than a computer or television. The tips below should help reduce the chances of a burglar helping themselves to your property:

• Fit strong padlocks and hardware to shed and garage doors.

• Make sure that the doors are solid enough not to be kicked in.

• Fit locks or bars to windows.

• Lock ladders inside your garage or shed.

• Consider lockable steel boxes or anchor posts fitted to the floor to secure tools and equipment.

• Garden tools and machinery should be permanently marked with your postcode.

• Install a battery or mains-powered shed alarm, available from all good DIY stores at a reasonable price.

• For extra security, replace the screws in external hinges of your shed or garage side-door with ‘clutch-head’ screws (also known as ‘anti-tamper’ or ‘coffin’ screws).

• Secure your wheelie bin to stop an intruder using it to climb on.

• Check that your insurance covers the contents of your shed or outbuildings from theft

• It is worth securing bicycles inside the shed to a ground anchor or lockable stand. Tools can be locked inside a locker or box or secured with a chain.”

For more information about protecting your home log on to www.psni.police.uk or contact officers at Newtownabbey Station on the non-emergency number 101.