SAFER Ryedale are urging Ryedale residents to get “sheducated” and take some simple steps to keep thieves at bay.

Officers are stepping up patrols in the area to deter and target thieves.

However, they are also urging people to make sure their shed is secured, particularly if expensive items are being stored inside, and because garden tools can also be used to break into homes.

Shed burglaries can be prevented by taking simple security measures, such as using quality padlocks and replacing standard hinges with strap hinges secured by coach bolts or non-return screws.

Alarms are inexpensive and can be effective, especially with external sounders, and are available from most DIY shops and online.

Garden side gates should be locked as an intruder climbing over is more likely to be seen as suspicious than one that just opens the gate and walks in.

Security lighting is also a deterrent, and portable shed alarms can scare off intruders. Bikes, in particular, need additional security locks and chains within the garage or shed, as they are increasingly becoming the target for thieves.

All property should also be security marked.

Inspector Andy Everitt, of Ryedale police, said most burglars want to be in and out as quick as possible so householders needed to make it hard as they could for them to get in and remove goods quickly.

“All of the above measures will frustrate and delay them, which increases the chance of them being heard, seen and caught,” he said.

“By taking some simple precautions, you can put yourself at less risk of becoming a victim of opportunist thieves and help us continue to cut shed burglaries in the area.

“Burglaries of sheds and outbuildings throughout Ryedale continue to be a problem.

“I urge owners to take shed security seriously by ensuring that nothing of value is stored in their sheds and that appropriate measures have been taken to deter thieves. “Don’t let your shed become easy pickings for opportunistic thieves.” Police officers are holding Sheducation events where people can obtain further advice they will take place on: 

• Monday, June 23, 8.30am to 11am, PCSO Andrew Hugill, Ropery car park, Pickering

• Thursday, June 26, 9am to 1pm, PCSO Tracy Brown, Norton allotments, North Road, Norton; 

• Friday, June 27, 10am to noon, PCSO Nicki Pounder, library bus, Sheriff Hutton; 

• Friday, June 27, 2pm to 3.30pm, PCSO Nicki Pounder, library bus, Slingsby; 

• Monday, June 30, 5pm to 7pm, PCSO Nicki Pounder, library bus, Hovingham.

If you would like to report any suspicious activity to police, phone 101, or in an emergency, phone 999.