POLICE in Dorchester are trying to reinforce their message of shed safety.

The town’s Safer Neighbourhood Team has launched a new ‘Shed-ucation’ facility to showcase burglary prevention features for sheds and outbuildings.

The demonstration shed will be sited at The Poundbury Garden Centre in a bid to educate local people about securing their property more effectively.

Inspector Steve Marsh, of Dorchester Police, said: “This new demonstrator has come about because we wanted to have the ability to show people examples of good prevention tactics.

“We are very grateful to several companies who have made this possible by generous donations of everything from the shed itself to most of the security elements fitted to it.

“Our thanks also go to The Poundbury Garden Centre which has given up precious space for the shed, enabling us to provide a facility that is accessible seven days a week.”

He added: “We often find when dealing with reports of outbuilding burglary that security features are either non-existent, not used, or just not fit for purpose in relation to the contents.

“This type of crime features throughout the year and is currently increasing in the Dorchester area.

“The decision we all have to make is whether we gear our security arrangements to anticipate a crime at some stage, or just rely on the generally low odds of being targeted.

“The trouble is those odds go up if thieves are focusing on your area.

“It’s fine if all you have in your shed is a few old plant pots and a watering can, but increasingly we find that more expensive items are being stored in sheds and garages.

“Luckily, it’s not difficult or expensive to improve the security of your shed.

“Our demonstrator showcases some healthy elements that constitute an ideal minimum package of measures for typical shed contents.”

Insp Marsh stressed: “I would not advocate high value or important items being left in any outbuilding, even with our showcased security examples fitted.

“It’s all about being proportionate.

“I would encourage people to have a look at the shed. On occasion my officers and our volunteers will be on hand at Poundbury Garden Centre to promote the features and best practices and field any queries.”

Insp Marsh said the demonstrational shed was made possible from ‘community spirited’ contributions from local businesses including Halstock Sheds, The Poundbury Garden Centre, Lam-Art, Travis Perkins’ Dorchester branch, Pragmasis Ltd and PJB Security.