Dales summer crime crackdown

PEOPLE are being asked to support a campaign against summer crime designed to maintain the Derbyshire Dales’ status as one of the safest places in England.

Operation Rascal is being promoted by the Safer Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership with the aim of keeping burglaries at the current low rate.

The partnership, which includes Derbyshire Dales District Council, the police and the county council, is helping prevent summer shed burglaries by selling discounted shed alarms at just £4 a time at police stations throughout the Dales.

Insp. Bryan Hall, who is in charge of policing in the Derbyshire Dales, said: “In the summer months wooden sheds can become a target for thieves and we want local people to help themselves to protect expensive items such as mountain bikes, motorbikes, golf clubs, DIY power tools, lawn mowers and other garden equipment.

“The shed alarms made available as part of Operation Rascal are a great deterrent. They usually retail at around £8 but we are selling them for just £4 thanks to a generous subsidy by the district partnership.”

Dales resident Alison Young said she was glad she fitted a shed alarm at her home in Matlock. “A few weeks ago someone started to prise open the shed door but obviously noticed the alarm and gave up,” she said.

“The discounted alarms are a great idea and I’d recommend other people taking advantage of the £4 discounted cost. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.”

Meanwhile, police report that an alarm was a deterrent when thieves targeted a shed in Green Lane, Ashbourne, on 5 July. A resident was woken up in the early hours by the shed alarm and after checking the garden noticed the lock on the shed had been tampered with.

Police believe the noise from the alarm and a security light in the garden disturbed the offender, who left empty handed.

Derbyshire Dales District Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, who is also Chairman of the Safer Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership said: “The Derbyshire Dales is among the safest places in England. In fact, Government figures continue to show that only the Isles of Scilly have a lower burglary rate, but we cannot afford to be complacent.

“This excellent campaign is the latest in a series of partnership initiatives that helps maintain the Derbyshire Dales as one of the safest places to live, work and visit in the whole of the UK.”

Also available at Enquiry Offices are door chimes at just £1 a time. In addition to fitting a shed alarm, local people are urged to keep their sheds safe by following these simple suggestions:

• Protect the boundary and access of your garden with fences, walls and lockable gates.

• Locate your shed in your garden so you can clearly see the door and window of the shed from your house.

• Use a good quality padlock/hasp or mortice lock on the door. If using a hasp, ensure the screws are covered and cannot be accessed by a screw driver.

• Ensure the hinges cannot be easily removed.

• Make sure the doors and panels of the shed are strong enough not to be kicked in or forced.

• Cover the windows and fit Perspex or laminated glass which will offer good protection.

• Cover the shed with a security light.

• Use a ground or wall anchor to secure your bike or other valuables in the shed.

• Lock valuables together to prevent them being easily removed.

• Visibly and permanently mark your property. It helps identify it as yours and is less desirable for a thief.