Safer New ForestJoin the crackdown on rural crime in the New Forest by making sure your property is protected from thieves.

The Safer New Forest Partnership is urging local businesses, farms and residents to invest in quality security measures – from padlocks and alarms to security lighting and CCTV.

“We urge the rural community to secure any outbuildings, including sheds, garages and stores, to prevent burglars from striking,” said New Forest Chief Inspector Tony Rowlinson.

“Intruders are actively targeting rural premises for valuables, including metal and oil fuel – don’t become a victim, make sure you secure your property.”

The Safer New Forest Partnership is offering a low-priced but highly-effective alarmed padlock to help householders secure their outdoor buildings. Priced £10, it can be purchased at New Forest District Council information centres across the district.

Other security measures recommended by Safer New Forest include:

  • Fit strong locks to doors and windows and keep locked at all times.
  • Security mark your property with a product such as Smartwater www.smartwater.com/home/   SmartWater is a real deterrent to thieves as it is virtually impossible to remove completely from metals and other items.
  • Protect valuable outdoor furniture, such as gas barbecues, patio heaters and patio sets, bikes and garden machinery, by photographing them and registering property for free on www.immobilise.com
  • Security lighting deters intruders and lights up vulnerable areas. Consider Passive Infra-Red Detector lighting (PIR), which operates by sensing movement.
  • Install CCTV.
  • Perimeter fencing and gates should be strong enough to prevent intruders breaking in.
  • Keep gates locked and restrict vehicle access to your property. Remove any means of transporting metal away, such as wheelie bins and wheelbarrows.
  • Remove anything left outdoors that could be used by thieves to gain access. Store tools and ladders in a secure building.
  • If you have a fuel oil tank on your premises, position it as close to your house or office as possible – a metal cage or grille with a lockable access hatch to the filler cap will also improve security.
  • Oil level gauges which are automatically operated and set off an alarm if the oil level in a tank suddenly drops are a good investment.

“The New Forest is a relatively low-crime area but that’s no excuse for apathy,” said New Forest Chief Inspector Tony Rowlinson. “I would advise all residents to protect their property, especially when it is left in outdoor buildings which may be easier to access. Lock your outbuildings and remember if you don’t, you may not be covered by your insurance.

“I urge anybody with information, or wishing to report a theft, to contact the Police on 101 (999 in an emergency) or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Useful information about suspicious activity given by the rural community can often hold the key in unlocking a line of police enquiry to bring an offender to justice.”

For information about the work of the Safer New Forest Partnership visit: www.safer.newforest.gov.uk or contact Stephanie Bennett on 023 8028 5588 or email stephanie.bennett@nfdc.gov.uk