Alarming rise in shed burglaries
3:00pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in Latest News
Police and council officers are working together to crack down on shed burglaries after the Chippenham area has seen a 20 per cent rise in the past year.
Between March 2011 and February 2012 there were 141 shed raids reported in Chipp-enham and the surrounding villages. During the same period ending last month, this number had increased by 20 per cent to 169. Police say most of the incidents took place within just three weeks.
Police have made two arrests in connection with incidents, of a 21-year-old and a 24-year-old, both from Calne.
Both are on night-time curfews after being released on police bail.
Police have increased their patrols and are asking the public to do their bit by being vigilant in crime prevention.
Chippenham Sergeant Phil Connor said: “There has been a notable increase.
“Some of the sheds and outbuildings being targeted have been fitted with poor quality padlocks or none at all and may be some distance from the house. The thieves are making off with equipment worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds – petrol strimmers, chainsaws and high value bicycles.”
Police are working in partnership with Wiltshire Council’s community safety partnership and businesses in the community and are offering Gazette readers a 15 per cent discount off security equipment at Wickes’ Chippenham store in Bumpers Way using the voucher on this page.
Sgt Connor said: “We want the public to take positive action to make it as difficult as possible for the criminal. The most effective alarms are those producing a noise of 80 decibels or more, that can be armed and disarmed remotely with a key fob.”
Mark Rippon, Wiltshire Council’s community safety officer for north Wiltshire, said: “It’s traumatic for people having their property stolen. It could be taken personally, although in reality it’s just that their shed was an easy target.
“They can make outbuildings more secure and hopefully this initiative with Wickes will make that more cost-effective. It is also a more timely approach, rather than finding out you’ve been burgled when all the evidence has gone.”
There has also been a rise in house burglaries in the Chippenham area, from 70 reported in the year up to February 2012, up 17 per cent to 82 in the year ending February 2013.