Local people have been urged to stay on their guard over opportunistic thieves over the summer months.
The warning was issued by Derry’s Police and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and the PSNI in Foyle ahead of the official start of summer.
Police have warned that longer evenings and brighter weather would lead many people to invest in some new furniture, lawnmowers or ornaments which may be targetted by theives.
Local people have also been urged to keep their garden sheds locked.
A spokeswoman for the PCSP in Derry said: “To the unscrupulous thief, these can present golden opportunities for them to help themselves to your belongings.
“Police would advise local residents to follow these simple steps to help reduce the chance of becoming a victim of opportunistic crime this summer -never leave garages and sheds unlocked, use substantial padlocks on shed doors, dead head vulnerable screws on hinges and bolts, cover shed and garage windows on the inside so that criminals can’t see in.
“For a thief, being able to see into a garage can be like looking into a shop window. Consider securing valuable ornaments or statues by cementing them to a footing. Photograph any antique garden statues, weigh down plant containers with bricks inside the pots.
“Protect your perimeters by ensuring gates and railings are secure and in good repair. Secure ladders to permanent fixtures. Mark lawnmowers and other garden tools with your postcode followed by your house number by using a permanent marker or engraver.
“Chain bicycles together and secure the chain to a solid structure.”
Local people are also being urged to make sure their homes are securely locked up.
“Close and lock all doors and windows when leaving the house and before you go to bed and set the intruder alarm if you have one,” the spokeswoman said.
“Security lights are useful in discouraging the attention of criminals, as it raises the potential of them being seen in the vicinity.
“Ensure that car keys are never left beside a door, window or on open view to outsiders.”
She added: “It is equally as important for neighbours to look out for each other. Chances are if criminals target one household in a particular area, they may try your neighbour or someone else a few doors up.
“You know who lives in your neighbourhood so if you see someone acting suspiciously note down any important details such as a description or car registration and contact police immediately.
“Police will follow up on your call and there is every possibility your information could prevent a crime.”
Further practical crime prevention advice is available from your local Crime Prevention Officer by calling the non-emergency number 101.