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Crime prevention garden a hit at Royal Horticultural Society show

A crime prevention garden incorporating elements to deter opportunistic burglars proved a hit at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hyde Hall Summer Flower Show last week, with thousands of visitors dropping in on the unique crime prevention garden.

Aiming to raise awareness of how garden security can make the home safer, ‘The Secured Garden’ was a collaboration between Essex Police, Secured by Design (SBD), RHS Hyde Hall and the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, with support from a number of SBD member companies and local companies.

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The show garden practically demonstrated how the garden environment can be the first line of defence and innovatively demonstrated the application of defensive layered planting, secure boundaries and physical security measures.

The garden had many aspects incorporated into it to deter opportunistic burglars – simple and affordable crime prevention measures which can be used in any front or rear garden that add an extra layer of security and help protect a home. These key security features which make the garden safe, secure and sustainable included both physical security products and aspects of defensive planting.

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Visitors to the garden not only had the opportunity to enjoy the garden itself but were also able to discuss the security features contained within it with specialist Designing Out Crime Officers from Essex Police. These features included plants that can help protect a home; a shed fitted with a window grill, padlocks, securing points, solar lighting, and alarm/camera; a lockable cycle store; secure boundaries & fence toppers; gravel pathways; lockable garden gate; pot/container & plant ‘anchors’; security for hanging baskets & property marking products.

Heather Gurden, Strategic Designing Out Crime Officer for Essex Police, said: “Safer green spaces is more than just a garden, it’s about creating a sense of wellbeing, with the security measures in place blending in seamlessly into the background. The garden showcased that security does not need to be fortress in nature, but subtle and affordable!”

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Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington: “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.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex: “This was a great opportunity to see how clever, sensible and defensive planting can make you and your community safer. These easy actions that we can all do to collectively make a big difference.”

Head of site at RHS Garden Hyde Hall & Garden Designer Ian Le Gros said: ““Well thought out design and planting demonstrates that you don’t have to scarify beauty for security. There are several things that can be done to improve security in the garden –most of which are relatively quick and inexpensive to do.”

Lyn Poole, Secured by Design, said; “Garden security is such a great way to enhance the physical security of a home whatever size the house and garden".

For further information on the garden, security features contained within it and crime prevention advice, visit