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Garden News  |  by Daniel Sharman

The Issue of Garden Theft

With the winter months behind us and the happier spring/summer times approaching more and more of us will be leaving the house and getting ourselves out and into the garden. However, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Lloyds Bank Insurance, we’re not the only ones in our gardens.

With the seasonal changes comes a rise in garden theft and garden property damage. The latest theft publication by the ONS, released in 28 November 2013, states that a staggering 19% of all thefts in the UK are classed as ‘other’ household theft.

With many Britons investing in their gardens through furniture and storage, it’s easy to see how the average estimated value of British gardens is around £2,000. However a staggering 44% (around 12.5 million) of British home owners don’t have a household insurance policy that adequately covers their garden assets, if at all! So most of us are at risk of garden theft and we don’t even know it.

“When it comes to protecting our properties, homeowners should remember that what is on the outside also counts. Taking some small steps to ensure your property and garden are protected could help prevent having to fork out to replace garden goods should the worst happen.”  - Tim Downes, Lloyds Bank Insurance

There are many affordable ways to keep your gardens safe and secure which don’t have to be as drastic as hiring 24 hour security. Eliminating any ease of access is one of the most encouraged methods. Most garden thefts occur due to broken fence panels and gaps that allow them to slip away into the night. Something as simple as a garden gate can be a rather effect deterrent, although the bigger the better.

Garden and driveway spot lights are on the rise in the UK, and are considered a successful addition to any garden security detail. Even I startle myself at night when I let my dog out into the garden at night.  

A simple tip which is becoming increasingly common throughout gardening communities is something as simple as initialling and post coding the bottom of plant pots and other such ornaments that could easily be picked up and stolen. These communities are also advising a way of increasing your house security, simply by situating spikey or prickly shrubbery near doors or easier points of entry into the garden.   Perhaps it’s as simple as locking up your garden valuables in a decent quality secure garden shed.   After all  … if they can’t see it … they can’t steal it!!

At the end of the day, every little helps and a safe house is a happy house! 

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