Deterring Garden Crime

Whether you're a keen gardener or just the one who cuts the grass, be aware that your garden can be a target for thieves.

A shed, store or garage needs to be securely locked, just like your home. Use a strong padbolt, fitted using threaded bolts with washers or backing plates, not screws which can be loosened from the outside.

Fit locks to shed windows and think about fitting steel grilles behind the windows. Cover windows to make it difficult for a thief to see what's inside.

Most gardeners have expensive garden equipment or power tools. Whenever possible, disable them after use. Never leave a key in the ignition.

Fit metal rings and chains to secure equipment inside the shed. Fit a battery powered alarm.

Check that your household insurance covers property kept in a shed or outbuilding.

Thieves often use tools left lying in the garden to break into a house. Spades, forks and ladders are all useful to an intruder.

Get into the habit of locking them away.

Mark your property using a DNA marking kit or your cycle using our cycle marking service.

Thieves are interested in attractive or antique planters or garden ornaments.

Mark them with your postcode.

Take photographs of anything that's particularly valuable - make it easier to trace it.

Some attractive plants can also be a deterrent to thieves. Prickly hedges might not be suitable in a home with young children but there is a wide variety of plants so check with the garden centre.

Growing between 12" to more than 5', varieties of berberis are very prickly as are pyracantha, mahonia, hollies, hawthorn and chaenomeles japonica. Riga rugosa makes a good hedge, with a great many thorns.

Deter Intruders

Keep fences and walls in good order and make them high enough to deter intruders - about 6' (1.8 metres).

Fences higher than 6'6" (2 metres) with trellis may need planning permission.

Front fences or hedges should be no more than 3' high so that your property is easily seen by passers by.

Prickly or thorny plants are useful near walls or fences.

Fit a padlock or bolt to all gates.

Lay a deep gravel path rather than slab or concrete so that anyone approaching the house will be heard.