Gardens can be a soft target for thieves and with The Olympics and Jubilee events happening over the coming summer then vacant properties present an easy option for theft. According to The British Crime Survey, theft from gardens and sheds has risen to over 1.25 million.
With garden theft predicted to rise in 2012, how do you know if you are protected? As summer and the barbecue season fast approaches, opportunists are aware that it is the ideal time to target gardens and allotments as rich pickings.
We show you how you can protect your garden without costing you a small fortune.
Main garden items targeted for theft
Amongst the main items that the light-fingered garden thieves target are:
- Lawn mowers
- Garden furniture
- Wheel barrows
- Garden tools
- Seedlings and vegetables
- Children’s toys
Remarkably, it has been reported that thieves have stolen garden gates, scrap metal, paving stones, a hot tub, fish and even an entire front lawn. Vandalism and property damage has also been reported. What inexpensive measures can you take to ensure your garden is fully protected?
Savvy ways to protect your garden
By taking some simple precautions, you can reduce your risk of garden theft dramatically to make your garden more secure. One way to protect your garden is by planting natural plant deterrents such as a barrier of prickly hedges like hawthorn.
You can pick up common holly, hawthorn, bamboo and other thorny foliage from your local garden centre or online at www.hedgesdirect.co.uk. Prices start at around £3.50 per plant.
Other deterrents can be to install security locks for your shed and wall spikes but it is worth noting that these purchases should be made from a reputable supplier. You can check prices, which start at £13 and seek additional advice at www.diy.com. If you have valuable trees then you can buy a tree anchor as an added security device.
You could extend your house alarm system into your garden or install a security light system, which comes on automatically can deter thieves. You can also mark your equipment and garden tools with your postcode by marking them with an ultraviolet pen, paint or by engraving your property.
Other low-cost measures, which can be used to secure your garden, are linking your gardening tools with a heavy-duty chain. You could lay a thick gravel path, which is inexpensive and acts as a deterrent to trespassers to reduce your chances of becoming a victim to theft.
A boundary wall or solid fence can be constructed to the rear of your home in such a way that it is difficult to climb.
Check your household contents insurance policy to see if it includes cover for your garden valuables and outbuildings or if you can pay a small sum for an add-on to your existing insurance.
You can check with your insurance provider for prices on covering individual valuable garden items. It is worthwhile outlaying a small sum to ensure your garden is fully protected against burglary and for your peace of mind.
With simple steps, you can save cash by installing solid security measures to deter thieves from stealing and vandalising your garden property, which could potentially end up costing you hundreds.
An extra tip, which may be worth keeping in mind, is to photograph your valuable garden ornaments or equipment in case you have to report a theft or place an insurance claim.
At Compare & Save.com, our team have hunted down the top home insurance providers to give you a wide choice of competitive deals on the UK market.
|Written by :|
|Amanda is the editor for Compareandsave.com.She worked as a journalist at the FT business publication, ‘Financial Adviser’. She also worked for the nationals including The Guardian, The Independent, The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mirror. Alongside working for major UK personal finance sites, she now investigates and reports on new, novel ways to help our readers save money.For press enquiries, please visit our Media Centre page.|