And so it’s nearly upon us. The fake snow in the windows of a thousand shops, people getting under each other’s feet on the high street, massive electricity bills for all those flashing fairy lights, and hey, the less said about that music we have to endure each year the better, right? You may not want to know all the words to a Shakin’ Stevens track, but boy you do anyway. Yep. If you haven’t got an advent calendar you might not have noticed the festive season slowly creeping up on us, strangling suburbs with red and gold tinsel and clobbering us all over the head with TV specials.
Ok, it’s not that bad, we’re not really Scrooges here. We love Christmas – the family, the food, the inevitable moment when Auntie Jan produces Monopoly, and of course, Santa’s imminent arrival. But that doesn’t mean it’s all festive fun for everyone.
Christmas is a prime time for crooks too. While the crime rates across Britain have steadily fell for the last 20 years or so, each year the Christmas period usually sees a dramatic increase in crimes like shoplifting, car theft and burglary. And one of the prime places to be robbed by prowling criminals isn’t just the gifts stacked underneath the Christmas tree – it’s the garage.
That makes sense, from a criminal point of view. It’s often overlooked by homeowners who may fret over whether or not they locked the front door, but rarely spare a thought for the garage. Coupled with that is the fact that a garage can often hold plenty of expensive equipment, like power tools and transport like bicycles and motorbikes.
Garage theft is an issue which affects people up and down the country. Only a couple of days ago in Hull, ten garages in the same street were targeted by thieves. In one garage, they made off with a collection of golfing equipment including clubs, putters, bags and even an electric golf cart. Milton Keynes police have been appealing for witnesses after a local garage was burgled, with criminals nabbing a yellow, orange and black mountain bike, as well as a crate of beer. Residents of Horncastle, Lincolnshire are being urged to check their garages for signs of theft after the cops arrested four men in possession of apparently stolen goods. Meanwhile in Northampton, thieves damaged a motorbike while attempting to steal it from the garage where it was kept.
This isn’t, of course, designed to scare anyone. It’s more a reminder to ensure your garages are kept secure – that’s sound advice at any time of the year, but especially around the Christmas season. Already police chiefs across the UK have issued warnings to garage owners and users to be mindful of their lock-ups, and there are plenty of ways you can ensure your garage remains secure.
On their website, Warwickshire Police advise concerned visitors on ways to reduce theft –crime prevention techniques as simple as adding an alarm, or extending your existing alarm to cover your garage can help. As can chaining together heavier equipment like the aforementioned motorcycles. Of course sometimes bad things do happen, despite the messages of those saccharine Christmas movies. As such, it’s advisable to make a note of all the tools and other equipment stored in your garage, along with the serial numbers and other distinguishing features, which will help identify them should they be stolen. So please, please, please make sure you take care and secure your garage this Christmas.
Here at Lock-Up Garage we’re always keeping an eye on the industry. If you’re looking for secure lock up garages to rent, then we can help. After all, we have over 13,500 units in more than 900 locations. If you’d like more information about our services and products, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 020 8882 8575 and our pro staff will be more than happy to help.