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Crime prevention tips for your garden

As part of National Home Security Month 2023, we take a look at some simple steps that you can take to keep your garden safe and secure.

There are many simple and affordable crime prevention measures which can be incorporated into any front or rear garden to add an extra layer of security into a garden to deter opportunistic burglars.

The key security features, which make a garden safe, secure and sustainable include:

Boundaries and access - the first line of defence against theft is to make sure property boundaries are secure, particularly to the rear, where people are often less watchful.

Fences - fences need to be of solid construction. It is recommended that fences to the rear of your property are 1.8m, and to the front no higher than 1.2m. Low-growing thorny shrubs at the base of fences, windows and drainpipes, will also give added protection.

Drives and pathways - gravel drives and paths make it impossible for an intruder to approach a property quietly.

Gates - keep gates shut and locked whenever possible, especially those allowing access to the rear of the property. Fit two quality locks to a gate, top and bottom, and ensure hinges are securely fixed to gate posts so that the gate cannot be lifted off its hinges.

Lighting - install security lighting operated by a daylight sensor. Position lighting so not to be a nuisance to neighbours or a distraction for road users.

Mark your property - mark your valuable items using one of the various property marking schemes or use a permanent marker to endorse it with your post code and house number or name.

Plants, ornaments and containers - proprietary land anchors can be used to secure larger plants, garden furniture, containers and ornaments. Most are based on a permanent stake to which an item is chained or bolted.

Sheds and outbuildings - look after your sheds and outbuilding, making sure that both the lock and the hinges are securely fitted. Don’t make a burglar’s job easier by leaving gardening tools lying around – these are often used to force entry into houses. Think about using a strong lockable box or cage within the shed in which you can securely store garden tools.

Storage Units - Consider a specialist SBD approved steel storage unit. These can be used for bikes and garden equipment and come in a range of sizes.

CCTV - gardens with expensive items may be best protected by installation of closed circuit television (CCTV). Domestic systems can be linked to your television or video to view your garden.

Plants that fight back - clearly, another level of defence are the plants themselves. Thorny, spiky and prickly plants can deter even the most determined burglar and may be all the protection you need around your property. If you choose the right plants, they can look aesthetically pleasing too and add drama to your garden. Planted in groups or as focal points there’s a vast array of forms, textures, and sizes to choose from.

Gardens are a place to relax, unwind or spend time with loved ones. They can also be purposeful and help make your home more secure. With a few small changes to your garden you can help protect your home and reduce your chances of being a victim of crime.

Secured by Design - Crime Prevention and Security Advice Hub

The Secured by Design Crime Prevention & Security Advice hub has practical crime prevention advice to help people stay safe, alongside details of products that have been tested and certified to meet the exacting standards you would expect from the police. Each webpage also has situation specific downloadable prevention advice PDFs.