Homeowners Urged To Secure Gardens

Springtime heralds lighter evenings and opportunistic thieves

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After months of darkness and the iciest winter in years, Spring time heralds lighter evenings, but opportunistic thieves also anticipate this time of year.

Thefts from local gardens increase when the clocks go forward and Chiswick property owners are advised to secure gardens as the evenings get lighter.

The latest statistics show that thefts from gardens, sheds and garages, shoot up by 25% as British Summer Time (BST) begins. Bikes, lawnmowers, garden tools and children’s toys are all targeted by thieves with the average haul totalling around £900.

Here are some top garden security tips from OliverFinn's Christian Harper:

1. Prickly bushes, such as the pink lady, common hawthorn, rubra and blackthorn, create barriers that are almost impervious to intruders. Their thick mesh and the prickliness of branches should deter most people from crawling through or attempting to climb over.

2. Ensure that all tools and ladders etc. are locked away as they are treasure for a thief and very useful for breaking into your own house to further improve the bounty.

3. A little trick that a builder once told me – Only use one screw instead of two to secure guttering brackets. That way they are strong enough to hold the guttering but will break if someone attempts to climb up the drainpipe to an open window

4. Security mark garden equipment so that if the thief is caught selling your tools, you will get them back and also assist in a successful conviction.

5. I would urge all homeowners to secure sheds etc. and tidy up after spending time in the garden so there’s nothing left lying around to tempt opportunist burglars.

Analysis of ten years of Aviva insurance claims shows thefts from outside the home start to increase with BST with a 10% increase compared to the dark nights of January.

Top ten items taken from gardens, sheds and garages in 2010.

1. Electric drills – mainly Black and Decker models
2. Electric jigsaw – mainly Bosch models
3. Electric planer – mainly Bosch models
4. Extension leads
5. Electric lawnmowers – mainly Flymo models
6 Electric strimmers - mainly Flymo models
7. Petrol chainsaws
8. Pressure washers
9. Petrol hedge trimmers
10. Garden fork and rakes

Claims continue to increase as the days get longer and lighter until they reach their peak in July and August at almost 50% higher than in January.


May 4, 2011