Thieves targeting yards are going for a quick fix — items that can be stolen then sold on easily. But there are simple steps you can take to help deter a thief from breaking into your property.

Examine it from a thief’s perspective — what areas of weakness could they exploit? Padlocked doors and solid iron security bars on your windows can be effective, however check that they are set in something stronger than a wooden frame.

And your neighbours can be a useful extra pair of eyes — make sure they have a contact number for you if they see anything suspicious.

10 ways to thwart a thief

1. Thieves will normally watch the yard before striking. Make sure you vary your timetable to make the yard look busy at all times.

2. Look at your yard for weak spots. Try to ensure that the exterior, especially around windows and doors, is brick and not wood.

3. Ensure your gate cannot be simply lifted off by reversing the top hinge, or welding a plate over it.

4. Make sure valuable items and wheelbarrows, which are designed to carry heavy objects, are locked away out of sight

5. Put plenty of signs up highlighting the fact that there is a security system in place, that all dogs (preferably more ferocious than a dachshund) are on the premises at all times.

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6. Make friends with your neighbours, they may spot someone suspicious and be able to help you if the alarm is tripped.

7. Consider leaving security lighting on overnight to act as a deterrent, especially the route from the road to the tackroom.

8. Windows are often used as a point of access; fit solid iron bars no more than 7″ apart behind them.

9. Do not mark which door leads to the tackroom.

10. Padlocks should be of a close-shackled variety to help protect against bolt cutters.

Picture credit: Mark Butler Dressage