Garden theft is on the rise across the UK with a 23% increase since 2017. Smart technology home provider Hive reported that bicycles, tools, garden ornaments, plant pots, and even plants were in the top 5 items most likely to be stolen from your garden. And with the justice system not doing enough to stop reoffenders, 24% of offenders in Wiltshire committing crimes within a year of being released, homeowners need to make sure that they take extra steps to protect their garden.
So, here are five tips to deter thieves from entering your garden.
Keep your garden and home perimeter well-lit
Your garden’s lighting shouldn’t solely be for ambiance. It also pays to invest in garden lighting that can help deter burglars. The Belfast Telegraph recommends installing outdoor sensors as they can make intruders feel vulnerable and like they are being observed. Another good recommendation is to set the lights on a timer for when you’re asleep. Just make sure that your lights are tamper-proof so they can’t be disabled.
Invest in quality screens and fences
The Metropolitan Police suggests keeping your front hedges and walls under one metre in height so that burglars have nowhere to hide. When it comes to the side and rear boundaries of your home, it’s best to add tall hedges, garden screens, and fences. The police recommend that they should be over 1.8 metres high. Adding a trellis to the top of your fences will make it harder for thieves to climb over. Screwfix’s list of natural garden screens show how many are over two metres tall. Not only will they deter burglars, but the natural materials, the screens are made from, including reeds and bamboo, won’t disturb the garden aesthetic. Apart from these simple steps, you can also plant particular shrubs along your garden walls and fences. These include berberis, climbing roses, osmanthus, or privet. These will make it hard for perpetrators to get into your garden.
Fill drives and pathways with gravel and remove climbable items
These are perhaps two of the easiest ways to protect your garden. Gravel on your garden paths will allow you to hear someone approaching. Not only that, it also makes leaving with your garden equipment difficult. Don’t forget to put away ladders and rubbish bins as they are often used by burglars to climb into your garden and maybe even your home. You can lock them in the shed together with your other garden equipment or use chains to keep them secured.
Thanks to a new generation of gadgets you now add a whole new level of security to your garden. Smart home security cameras connect directly to a smart device, allowing you to see what’s happening in your garden wherever you are. The Guardian notes that some cameras can even recognise friend from foe, and will alert you if a stranger is spotted. Other cameras send you alerts when they detect movement, while some can even inform the police directly. One of the best examples is the Ring Floodlight Cam, which combines LED floodlights and a camera in one device. You can activate a live stream anytime through the Ring app, but its best feature is its motion-activated smart alerts.
Keep your garden clean
If you must add expensive installations, place them where strangers won’t be able to see them and make sure they can’t be easily moved. Keep your garden equipment and bikes inside a shed with multiple locks, and make sure they’re within the range of your CCTV. If you leave objects outside, especially if they are valuable, then the chances of them getting stolen increases dramatically. It may sound like an obvious thing to say, but it is a common reason why so many gardens are burgled.
If you are concerned about your garden then hopefully these tips will help. While theft can’t be prevented, homeowners can take steps to deter thieves as much as possible.