FOLLOWING a recent rise in shed and garage theft of 400% in the Darwin and Biggin Hill areas of the London borough of Bromley, the Met Police decided immediate action was needed to reduce and deter burglaries.
With funding from the Safer Bromley Partnership, The Safer Shed scheme was launched at Cudham Frith Farm by the Darwin Safer Neighbourhood Team.
Darwin SNT will be using Selectamark’s Supermark tamper proof stickers to help residents in the local villages of Leaves Green, Downe and Cudham to permanently mark high value gardening equipment such as ride-on mowers and small tractors, as well as smaller items such as strimmers and power tools that can be found in sheds.
The custom-made Supermark stickers feature the Metropolitan Police and Safer Bromley Partnership logos and DARWIN SNT is picked out in small dots. The marking is carried out by daubing an etching fluid over the sticker which then permeates through the holes of the stencil onto the item to be marked, leaving a permanent record of ownership.
The Supermark sticker is virtually impossible to remove, but should a thief eventually manage to get it off, the visible marking underneath would still be evident.
The householder is also provided with window and door stickers to advertise the marking in order to deter thieves. If a garden item is stolen, police will be able to narrow the search parameters and establish its owner’s identity.
Sergeant Katey Martin, head of the Darwin Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “We are grateful to the Safer Bromley Partnership for supporting this initiative. Selectamark is quick and easy to use and gives a neat, professional mark every time, making it very unattractive for thieves.”
Superintendent Martin Huxley from Bromley Police said: “The Safer Shed Scheme promotes both property marking and allows us to monitor property recovered and is Darwin SNT’s latest innovative project to reduce crime in our area.”
Supt Huxley continued: “The team have already marked in excess of 65 items and I would encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of this scheme, which will make it much harder for thieves to operate.”
Cllr Colin Bloom, Chairman of the Safer Bromley Partnership, said: “This initiative is a tribute to the way in which partners listen to their communities and work together, involving local residents in solving the problems that are important to local neighbourhoods. I’d encourage anyone who has a shed or other outdoor property to contact the team and have their property marked.”