Lowestoft police urge householders to secure sheds and garages after spate of break-ins

SECURE your sheds and garages - that was the message from Lowestoft police today after a spate of recent break-ins.

Officers are urging residents to step up their shed and garage security after a number of break-ins across the town, particularly in the Kessingland and Carlton Colville areas.

'In many of the incidents insecure pedal cycles have been taken from sheds and garages and officers are urging residents to think about the steps they can take to make their property more secure,' a police spokesman said. 'Simple precautions – such as fitting a shed alarm, which can cost as little as �10, and locking up bikes and tools – can make a difference and reduce the chances of your property being targeted.

'An alarm can be fitted to sheds and garages and when someone tries to gain entry this will be uncomfortably loud for the would-be thief and will alert you to the attempt.

'Locks and padlocks on sheds and garages should be sturdy and you should also lock up valuable items – bikes, tools and so forth – inside the shed,' the spokesman added.

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To help get the message across, locals will be given the opportunity to get more advice and information as Kessingland PCSOs Paul Dennington and Lynn Ledbetter are holding several street meetings next Monday, February 20 and on Thursday, March 15.

Next Monday they will take the mobile police station to St Edmunds Crescent between 2.30pm and 3.30pm, the Field Lane shops between 4pm and 5pm and at Lloyds Avenue between 6pm and 7pm.

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Then on Thursday, March 15 they will be at Field Lane shops between 9am and 10am, at the High Street shoppers car park between 10.30am and 11.30am, at Lloyds Avenue between 1.30pm and 2.30pm and at Kessingland Primary School between 3pm and 3.30pm.

As well as being able to give crime reduction advice on shed, garage and cycle security they will also be offering bike coding and will be promoting the ongoing cycle safety and security campaign.

Locals are welcome to attend any of the venues or, if you can't make it but would still like advice on protecting your property, please contact the Lowestoft South Safer Neighbourhood Team via the new non-emergency number 101 or visit www.suffolk.police.uk

Top tips for shed and garage security

• Fit good locks to all doors. Padlocks should be of hardened steel, at least 6cm/2.5in wide, have at least five pins and be a closed shackle type, which reduces the risk of them being forced open.

• Fit additional locks to up-and-over doors.

• Fittings should be bolted through the door and reinforced at the back with a steel plate or washer. Hasps should have concealed screws.

• A battery-operated alarm can help alert you if anyone tries to gain entry.

• Fit mesh or bars on the inside of any windows.

• Secure any property stored inside and remember to security mark it.

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