ASHBOURNE police officers will be cracking down on theft from sheds, garages and other outbuildings after setting the issue as the current neighbourhood priority.
The Ashbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team will be focusing on this for the next three months after it was raised by residents at the last governance meeting following recent incidents.
As part of the crackdown, police will be heading out on increased targeted patrols and actively encouraging residents to remain vigilant and to report suspicious activity to police straight away.
The team will be visiting rural villages across the Ashbourne area as part of Operation Illuminate and making homeowners aware of the simple steps that they can take to protect their property from being targeted by thieves.
The annual drive, which is led by Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, sees police officers and council staff visiting communities to offer crime prevention advice and cut-price security items to residents.
Increasing home security and investing in items such as spotlights, alarms, doors chimes and property marking kits such as SmartWater or Selecta can act as effective deterrents to criminals.
Discounted home security kits can be purchased from the police station with prices starting at £1.
The Safer Neighbourhood policing team will also be extending the priority of shoplifting and will be conducting high visibility and plain clothed patrol around the shops in the area to combat theft.
As part of their work, officers will be promoting the town's Shop Watch radio scheme in which retailers purchase a radio kit that links them to each other and directly to police.
The team will be engaging with known offenders and speaking to retailers about how to improve security in their stores to prevent theft.
Further information on Operation Illuminate is available by calling the Ashbourne Safer Neighbourhood team on 101, or Derbyshire Dales District Council on 01629 761 100.