Taking in the sun

Many of us like to make the most of the warmer weather — including thieves and burglars.

Theft claims rise by 10% during the summer, and garden theft usually increases with thieves targeting tools and equipment from your shed, plants, garden furniture and ornaments. Some even use your tools to try to get into your house.

Plus, of course, open windows and doors don't just allow fresh air in. Burglars can use them for access to your home, taking your belongings with them when they leave. And properties left empty while owners go on summer holidays also provide an attractive opportunity for burglars.

Our top tips to stop summer thieves

Always lock gardening equipment and tools away when you're not using them — and use solid locks that can't easily be broken on your shed and garage. If you can, get a lock for your garden gate so thieves can't get in to your garden without climbing over. You can also put a light trellis on top of your walls and fences to make climbing into your garden more difficult. And if you have any trees or shrubs near your shed, cut them back so thieves can't hide behind them.

Remember to keep your ladder locked away too, or it may be used to access an open window. Although theft claims rise in the summer, there is less buildings damage during burglaries, which appears to indicate that thieves are more opportunistic at this time of year, sneaking in through open windows or doors. With this in mind, it's always wise to be wary of leaving doors and windows open if you're not near them.

Remember to keep your ladder locked away too, or it may be used to access an open window. Although theft claims rise in the summer, there is less buildings damage during burglaries, which appears to indicate that thieves are more opportunistic at this time of year, sneaking in through open windows or doors. With this in mind, it's always wise to be wary of leaving doors and windows open if you're not near them.

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