If you’re a keen gardener or have invested heavily in a pleasant outdoor area to enjoy throughout the year, the last thing you want is to have it ruined by thieves or vandals. Heightening security is certainly one potential solution, but there is obviously a cost and some inconvenience involved in this. So what is the solution and do you really need to improve your security?
With more people investing in outdoor furniture, expensive barbecues and beautiful plants, the garden can be an attractive target for thieves. In most cases, there is little more than a 7 foot wall or fence protecting your property, which means that there isn’t much to stand in their way.
As the temperatures rise, so do the number of garden thefts
Garden-based thefts increase by around 25% in the early months of spring and can rocket up to around 40% higher during summer when compared to January (Source: Telegraph). As such, the warmer weather and longer evenings appear to provide the perfect opportunity for criminals to strike. So if you’re currently in the process of carrying out improvements to your garden, make sure you factor in how secure the area is and whether changes need to be made. Here are a few suggestions:
Outdoor intruder lights
Motion sensitive intruder-deterring lights are a popular addition to homes throughout the country. They are relatively unobtrusive, easy to install and reasonably cost effective. However, they are by no means perfect.
After all, a light isn’t necessarily going to stop someone gaining access to your property and it won’t always deter them from helping themselves. It can also be triggered by moving plants on windier nights, meaning that homeowners may be less inclined to check every time they notice that the light is on.
On the other hand, they will often make thieves think twice, particularly if there are a number of houses overlooking your garden. They can also help any surveillance you may have on the property, ensuring that images of perpetrators are clear and may be used in prosecutions.
As previously alluded to, CCTV can be used as a preventative measure and also to help catch any perpetrators. By clearly displaying that your property is protected by surveillance cameras, potential thieves may think again before venturing into your garden.
Secure Gates and Fencing
Prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to your security. If you invest in stronger locks on gates, sturdier fencing and other physical deterrents that help prevent thieves getting onto your property, then lights and CCTV may not even be needed.
Review your current security, particularly if you’re backing or fronting onto publicly accessible land. If you’re in a row of terraces, this may not be quite so important of course, but in any other situation you shouldn’t be afraid of adding extra height or solidity to your boundaries. The more difficult you can make it to enter and exit your property, the less likely anybody is likely to try to do so.
One thing that you might want to give some thought to is planting dense or particularly prickly bushes around your borders. If the thought of vaulting an 8 foot wall isn’t enough to put off a thief, a thick gorse bush on the other side might be.
Getting to know your neighbours and watching out for one another is a great way of cutting the risk of crime. Whilst you might be tucked up in bed, they may glance out of their window and notice something suspicious and raise the alarm. This kind of community spirit can prove invaluable, ensuring that communities remain safe and insurance claims are kept to a minimum. In fact it may even help reduce policy prices (Source: Gloucestershire Police).
So don’t take your garden’s security for granted. Even if you’ve never been a victim of crime or there have been no reported incidents in your neighbourhood for a number of years, there is always a first time. Whether you prefer lighting or more physical preventative measures, there are plenty of ways in which you can tighten up the security of your property without huge expense or upheaval.