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Shed thefts ( 115A/22)


We’d like to know any 2021 (or nearest up-to-date data) on the number of thefts from sheds and outbuildings in the UK, value of possessions stolen and, most importantly, the most valuable items stolen from sheds.


Our data is not held in a retrievable format ie there is no search marker for “shed” or “outbuilding”.

Therefore, upon review it has been identified that the only way to retrieve results is to use a keyword search. Keywords “shed” and “outbuilding”.

Keyword searches are notoriously unreliable, the reasons why searches using this method are not reliable include (but are not limited to) the following: –

  1. a) Searches rely on the keywords being spelt correctly with no grammatical errors
  2. b) Searches rely on the keywords actually being mentioned in the summary description of the record – if they are mentioned anywhere else within the record but not in the summary, then they will not feature in any results

However, we have extracted this data and hope that it will be of some use to you.

For 2021:

Outbuildings = 77

Sheds = 1047

In relation to the property / damage values in relation to the above crimes – Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

An individual evaluation of each crime would need to be carried out in order to find the property listed and the values.  Sometimes not all property and values are listed.

1047 + 77 = 1124 records in total

10 minutes per record x 1124 = 11240 min (187 hours)

I am unable to suggest any practical way in which your request may be modified in order to satisfy your query or bring it within the 18 hours stipulated by the Regulations. I am however willing to consider any refinements that you are able to make to your request, in accordance with Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act.  If you would like to look into refining your request please contact me.

Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of incidents/crimes can be misleading and does not necessarily indicate the likelihood of someone being a victim of crime. In addition, the number of incidents/crimes recorded in an area over a period of time can be influenced by a number of factors. Consequently, statistics on incidents/crimes for one period may not necessarily be a good indicator of future incidents in that area.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are considered when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be considered when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

As recommended as good practice by the Information Commissioner’s Office a version of this response may be published on the West Midlands Police website.


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