Focus on rural crime in Galloway

Welcome to your October edition of “On the Beat” with Galloway’s community policing team.

This month we are focusing on rural crime and the security of your caravans, holiday homes and outbuildings - including sheds and garages.

If you are a caravan or holiday park user you are possibly preparing to leave the site for the winter. Before you go, can weI ask that you take some time to look around your property and secure what you no longer need out on display? Try and visualise your property from the eyes of a thief and look at how easy it could be to access your property or to remove and carry off any insecure items.

By introducing simple and effective preventative measures you will leave your property knowing that you have taken steps to protect what’s yours.

· Remove valuables from view within your caravan/holiday home, or, if you can, take them to your permanent address and secure them there.

· Consider marking any property you decide to keep within your caravan/holiday home or outbuilding. Prepare a list of any items that you leave behind, including the make, model, serial numbers, unique markings, etc. Take some photographs of these items too, as this may assist the identification, if required should you become a victim of crime.

· Consider alarming your property, or installing CCTV. These products do not have to be an expensive purchase to be effective.

· If you have friends or family near to your property, why not ask them to make regular visits to your property on your behalf, or allow them to use your property occasionally during your time away, to give you that extra piece of mind.

October has been a good month in terms of weather conditions and this has allowed the green fingers among us to cut our grass for the final time and tidy up the garden in preparation for winter.

So, what have you done with the items you no longer need at this time of year; the items that you store away in the hope they will still be there come spring time, the petrol or electric lawn mowers, rotavators, strimmer’s, hedge cutters, etc.

Are they secure, if not, consideration could be made to make a strong hold for these items or ensure the places you already keep your items are fit for purpose?

Any security measures you implement do not have to be expensive as there are many products on the market that suit all pockets and provide a good level of protection against intruders.

We would far rather have people spending a little money to protect what they have just now, rather than spending a lot of money in the spring to replace what they had - if you were unfortunate enough to become a victim to thieves.

As always, when you are out and about we encourage you to remain vigilant and tell us about any suspicious activity, at the time – you could prevent someone else being targeted.

All we ask is that you;-

· Record (as much detail as you can, including description of persons and/or vehicles and any registration mark -or part registration; where they were last seen and a direction of travel - if known; Names of anyone else who has witnessed the same activity are also good, as they may provide additional information).

Report (Contact 101 for routine and no emergency calls or 999 when there is an immediate risk of injury or loss of life, or if there is a crime in progress) If you require further information on ideas on how to protect your property, or any other crime reduction advice please don’t hesitate to give your local Crime Reduction Officer a call. They can be contacted on 101.