Looking back over some of my old columns, I notice that around this time of year I tend to warn people about the danger of shed-breaks.
I’d love to say that I don’t need to do that this time around, but sadly we’ve already seen a number of such breaks across the area.
In one instance, a garden spade had been left out, affording the criminal a useful tool to force entry and get inside.
So, apologies to those who may have heard this message before and heeded the advice, but to those who haven’t, please review your outbuilding security and do the following.
Ensure that all gardening and DIY tools are safely stored so they can’t be used to break in.
Ensure that you have a solid hasp and padlock in place, and use it - it can’t always stop a determined burglar, but it can make their task a whole lot harder.
Fit a shed alarm, available inexpensively from hardware stores or online.
Padlock pedal cycles to the internal fabric of the building, so even if they do get in, it’s hard for them to get away with your prize bike.
It is an unfortunate reflection on society that a substantial proportion of the offences of violence reported to police are domestic-related.
Victims are threatened, bullied and beaten by the very people who should care for them the most.
It can never be justified and the fact that a great deal of it occurs when people are under the influence of alcohol is no excuse either.
Over the coming months, we will be working with Partners to highlight this often-hidden crime (and it is a crime), to encourage victims to come forward-either by reporting it to police, or seeking other support, such as the Derbyshire Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Service.
The important work they do can be found by visiting www.ddvsas.org.uk. You can also call their helpline on 0800 0198 668.
We will always seek to take positive action when domestic abuse is reported to us, and safeguard victims and the children who get caught up in such situations and witness things no child should ever see.
If we cannot secure a prosecution, we may look to implement a Domestic Violence Prevention Order, a civil power that can place restrictions on perpetrators and we have been very successful in this recently. Domestic abuse will not be tolerated.