POLICE are reminding residents of some crime prevention advice following a number of non-dwelling burglaries in the Winchester, Eastleigh and Test Valley districts.

Between Wednesday, May 4, and Wednesday, May 11, officers received four reports of non-dwelling burglaries.

The incidents took place in: Kilham Lane, Winchester; Beeches Industrial Estate, Crawley, Winchester; Castle Lane, North Baddesley; and Portsmouth Road, Eastleigh.

Items including power tools, machinery and gardening equipment were stolen from storage units.

Five caravans were also stolen from a storage unit on Portsmouth Road, Eastleigh, sometime between 5pm on Thursday, May 5, and 5.30pm on Friday, May 6.

Officers are currently investigating the circumstances of these incidents and are looking into whether they could be linked.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: "We would like to assure residents and landowners that we take this type of crime extremely seriously and officers continue to patrol rural areas.

"We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of the following crime prevention measures to keep buildings and property secure."

To keep your belongings safe:

  • lock equipment away in a secure building or part of a building when not in use
  • invest in a secure storage toolbox
  • install a burglar alarm on buildings where equipment is kept
  • always lock vehicles when left outside and keep the keys in your possession
  • keep expensive items and vehicles out of sight when not in use
  • consider using hitch locks, wheel clamps or ground anchors
  • mark your tools and equipment and register them
  • keep a record of all valuable items
  • consider fitting outside security lights

Take a good look around your property boundary for any potential places where it could be made more secure, and consider:

  • planting thorny hedging to act as a natural barrier
  • digging deep ditches to control and deter unwanted vehicle access
  • if possible, having a single-gated access point to the property
  • using locking posts or temporary obstructions to control large openings
  • invert and cap gate hinges
  • making sure fixing bolts are secure and use covered padlocks
  • installing warning signs

A good standard of building security is very important in rural areas, especially for outbuildings that may not be visited for weeks at a time.

Farmhouses and other rural properties are the same as any other home, so general home security advice still applies. However, because of the remote location, additional security measures may be beneficial.

SEE ALSO: Warning sent to Hampshire churches amid metal theft fears

To protect your rural home or business:

  • keep the boundaries of your land and property well-maintained and secure
  • keep all doors and windows shut and locked when not in use
  • install a visible burglar alarm
  • make sure windows and door frames are secure and in good repair
  • fit strong locks to sheds, garages and outbuildings
  • fit good quality window locks
  • consider security bars and grilles for vulnerable windows and openings
  • make sure gates cannot be lifted off or have their fixing bolts removed
  • check security equipment regularly to ensure it works properly
  • use locking posts or temporary obstructions to control wide access points to yards

For additional security you could also:

  • install automatic security lights that come on at dusk and turn off at dawn
  • install CCTV cameras to watch over the most vulnerable areas of the property
  • install a monitored intruder alarm system
  • install an entry control system infrared, intercom or keypad
  • establish a single gated entrance and exit, removing all private access points that are not in use
  • For further information on securing your belongings and how to mark your equipment,

The spokesperson added: "Rural crime is a priority for us and we will continue to relentlessly pursue suspects. The community are our eyes and ears and we encourage you to report all incidents as soon as you are able to by calling 101 if it’s not an emergency.

"You can also report suspicious activity online (if it’s not an emergency) by visiting our website hampshire.police.uk.

"If a crime is in progress, always call 999."

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