Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Garden award for top tips on security


Garden award for top tips on security                                       
Garden award for top tips on security 
A CRIME-CUTTING show garden has clinched an award for its role in helping to keep residents safe from crooks.
The secure garden was set up at Parker’s Garden Centre in Kirby Cross last year.
It is a model garden displaying the top steps residents can take to secure their homes against burglars.
The secure garden initiative, which was put together by the crime prevention team at Clacton police station, has now been handed a top internal award by Essex Police for its innovative approach in tackling burglaries in the area.
They have scooped the Ray Stannard Memorial Trophy, handed out for displays of excellence in crime prevention within the force.

(Reproduced from Clacton Gazette, 30th July)

Gardien Comment: What a great idea, which other police forces might do well to copy. Garden crime continues to increase so why make it easy?  Simple steps can be very effective - see the advice at www.garden-security.co.uk

Monday, July 29, 2013

Protection for your plot - Five minute guide to taking out insurance for garden features


WITH the heatwave continuing, people are heading outdoors to relax in their gardens, yet worrying new figures show many risk getting burnt not just from the sun but by not having their al fresco furnishings protected.

New findings from Lloyds TSB Insurance show that in the past 12 months, households spent an average of £894 on outdoor furniture, with some UK gardens kitted out with goods worth an estimated £2,000.

Despite this investment, 44 per cent of homeowners are unsure whether their outdoor possessions are covered on their insurance, if they have any at all.

"It is a false economy to invest in luxury garden items without ensuring they are covered," says Tim Downes from Lloyds TSB Insurance. "As our gardens grow increasingly valuable, homeowners are realising they own hundreds of pounds worth of items."

The best way to get the peace of mind of knowing your garden is fully protected is by ensuring you have the right policy to suit your home. You can also take some simple steps to keep this space - and its contents - safe.


You might think that your garden is unlikely to get targeted, yet new findings from GoCompare.com show that one in five homeowners has been a victim of garden theft or vandalism.

Further research reveals the top five items damaged or stolen from gardens were bikes, garden sculptures or ornaments, trees or shrubs, garden furniture and lawnmowers.

The average value of property either stolen or damaged was estimated to be worth £311, while 16 per cent of homeowners suffered losses of £500 or more. "For many homeowners these days their gardens are an extension of their living space and are filled with stylish furniture, plants and ornaments," says Mark Greening, from GoCompare. "If people added up the cost of replacing these items, they may be surprised to find their garden contents are worth thousands of pounds."

Separate figures from the ONS Crime Survey show that nearly 1.4 million thefts from gardens and outdoor spaces were recorded last year; this marks a 17 per cent increase over the past five years. Despite this, research by Lloyds TSB Insurance found 43 per cent of homeowners admitted to not having a secure lock for their gardens, meaning they are leaving themselves open to opportunistic thieves.

"It is concerning that so many homeowners are still leaving themselves exposed by not having the right cover in place - and by not taking the right steps to improve security," says Downes. "By taking a few simple actions, you could help prevent having to fork out to replace garden goods should the worst happen."


While people often assume all of their property is covered by their home insurance - including their gardens - this may not be the case.

"The majority of home contents insurance policies provide limited cover for garden contents such as furniture, BBQs, paddling pools and lawnmowers under 'contents in the open'," says Greening.

"This is typically in the region of £500 to £1,000." However, he points out that plants are only covered as standard by 44 per cent of policies and that not all insurers offer this cover as an optional extra.

"Some policies provide only £200 worth of cover for plants, which won't stretch very far if you have to replace mature or rare specimens," he adds.
It is a false economy to invest in luxury garden items without ensuring they are covered
Tim Downes

You need to bear in mind that home insurance policies vary significantly in the cover they provide for gardens and their contents. "Homeowners need to assess carefully the value of their outdoor possessions and compare policy features and limits - as well as prices," says Greening.

Equally, if the contents of your garden are particularly valuable, you may need to consider a specialist garden insurance policy.


As well as checking you have the right cover in place, there are also plenty of steps you can take yourself to keep your garden safe.

"After a day in the garden, ensure everything is put away securely inside your home, shed or garage," says Jonathan Cracknell, from Aviva, another insurer. "Remember items such as ladders and wheelie bins are perfect for burglars to use to get into your home, so keep them out of reach and out of sight if you can." 

ENSURE garden sheds, garages and outbuildings remain bolted with a secure lock. Keep boundary hedges and fences in good order to keep them secure.

CONSIDER "defensive planting" of prickly shrubs or hedges.

FILL your driveways or paths with gravel as this can help you to hear someone approaching. Install security lighting.

SECURE expensive plants with wire pegs dug into the ground around the root ball.

PUT bricks and stones in the bottom of patio tubs to make them more difficult for would-be thieves to carry off.

USE a security pen to mark valuable items that are left in the open with your postcode; this could include garden furniture, ornaments and trampolines.

KEEP photos of your garden valuables in case anything is stolen or vandalised.

FIND out about joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
(Reproduced from express.co.uk, 28th July)
Gardien Comment: Our company is dedicated to Garden and Outdoor Security - more advice and quality security products can be found at our web site, www.garden-security.co.uk  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lock up your lawnmowers - increase in garden thefts

Gardeners are being told to lock up their lawnmowers and guard against thieves taking advantage of the sizzling summer weather.
Devon and Cornwall Police figures show that there were 837 thefts in Cornwall last year from gardens, sheds, outbuildings and outside homes.
Bob Bunney, force crime reduction advisor for Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “The long summer evenings mean the goods in your garden are more visible to thieves, so try to avoid advertising what you’ve got.
“Clear your garden every evening, make sure all sheds and garages are properly locked and secure, and either move patio furniture and expensive barbecues into a shed or use chains and padlocks.”
Home Office figure show thefts from British gardens are on the increase, with around 5,000 gardens targeted every week.
Rural insurer Cornish Mutual wanted to make the public aware of the numbers of crimes that have taken place in the hope that they will increase security.
Alan Goddard, chief executive of Cornish Mutual, said: "People often store expensive tools and equipment which together can be worth several thousand pounds in a shed or garage which isn’t properly locked, and criminals know that.
“Thieves are often opportunist and will target gardens with less secure storage, so a good quality padlock can deter them, and save you from becoming a victim of theft."
The public are advised to lock all garden tools away at night and make sure all garden furniture is tagged so it can be traced
(Reproduced from thisiscornwall.co.uk, 25th July)
Gardien Comment:  Secure sheds, quality locks and Property marking solutions can be found at www.garden-security.co.uk

Friday, July 19, 2013

Crime team warn people to watch out for burglars during heatwave

HOUSEHOLDERS are being warned to watch out for burglars during the current heatwave.
Cleveland Police Crime Prevention Team says thieves are on the prowl looking to steal from sheds and garages.
They are also warning residents to keep front doors locked if you are in the back garden and to close doors and windows when going out.
Steve Cranston, crime prevention officer, said: “Although our homes can become stiflingly hot in this heat, please remember to close your windows before you go out, as the thieves will take advantage and will soon be in your home.
“Thieves will also be prowling, trying the door to your shed or garage so make sure that you keep it locked and secured with a good lock.
“They will be looking to steal lawnmowers, tools, bikes or crates of lager from your sheds, so make sure you always remember to lock up.”
For advice on crime prevention and property marking call the Crime Prevention Team on 101
(Reproduced from The Hartlepool Mail, 19th July)
Gardien Comment: For advice and products re shed security and property marking, see www.garden-security.co.uk

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Couple 'stole garden ornaments to brighten up their back yard'

Police have arrested a 26-year-old man and 17-year-old woman in connection with a series of thefts from gardens in Pittville.  Officers swooped on a home in St Paul's after being tipped off that around 25 stolen items were in the garden.
They found a haul of garden goods which they believe to have been stolen, including gnomes, hanging baskets, garden furniture, Acer trees, animal garden lights, a stone lion ornament, three stone dogs, a stone mushroom and flowerpots. It is believed the items were taken from gardens between June 28 and Wednesday.
Gloucestershire police officers are now working to reunite the owners with their items.
Inspector Jon Roberts said four people had already come forward to reclaim property.
He added: "I'm really pleased we have been able to recover these items. We're now hoping people who have had items stolen will come forward."
The couple was arrested at around 11.15am on Thursday on suspicion of theft in connection with the stolen items.
They have since been bailed, pending further inquiries, and have been ordered to return to Cheltenham police station on July 26th
(Reproduced from thisisgloucestershire.co.uk  17th July)
Gardien Comment:  Product marking with SelectaDNA would have enabled immediate identification and return of all stolen items to their rightful owners. See http://www.garden-security.co.uk/SelectamarkhomeDNA50.aspx

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hertfordshire Constabulary warn of St Albans garden tool break-ins


A series of break-ins during which offenders have used gardening tools to gain entry to homes have taken place in St Albans.

Hertfordshire Constabulary have issued a warning to residents following three burglaries in the district.
A safe containing cash was stolen from a house after burglars used a shovel and screwdriver to open a conservatory door in West Way, Harpenden, between June 15 and 16.
On the same day a garden hoe was used to force open a door in Stewart Road, Harpenden.
A garden spade was used to damage a window pane in Riverside Road, St Albans, on June 18.
During the break in a jewellery box was stolen from the house.
Police are urging people to lock away their gardening tools and ladders to avoid them being used by opportunist burglars.
Sergeant Sophia Pidgeon, from the Operation Scorpion team, said: "We expect with the weather getting hotter, residents will be more relaxed about garden security and opportunist burglars will use insecure garden tools to break into homes so they are not caught ‘going equipped’."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on the non-emergency number 101.

(Reproduced from St Albans Review, 4th July 2013)

Gardien Comment: For a wooden shed, replace any cheap lock with a Neulock or see the article on Shed Security at http://www.garden-security.co.uk/shed-security-print.htm

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cracking down on garden thefts

  • Devon and Cornwall Police are urging homeowners to tighten their garden security as they prepare to crack down on garden thefts this summer.
    As people spend more time outside, the value of outdoor items continue to rise, with bikes, lawnmowers and garden furniture hot on thieves’ radars.
    However, these thefts could be avoided if simple security measures were taken.
    Bob Bunney of Devon and Cornwall Police Crime Reduction Lead said: “A good place to begin when securing your shed is to make all access points difficult to reach or use. Make sure you fit strong shackle padlocks to the shed door and mesh to the windows. Installing security lighting around your house will also help deter opportunist thieves.”
    More security advice is available at www.devon-cornwall.police.co.uk.
    If you’re a victim of a shed theft, call the police on 101 or email 101@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk.
    (Reproduced from Midweek Herald, Exeter, 3rd July)
    Gardien Comment: Plenty more advice and garden security products can be found at www.garden-security.co.uk

    Belford (Berwick) hit by spate of crime

    It is believed they most probably happened overnight on Sunday night into Monday morning.
    One happened at a shed in the grounds of the health centre at Croftfield but nothing was stolen from inside. At a building site canteen at Raynham Close a window was smashed and search made inside but nothing was stolen.
    At Dinningside an attempt was made to force entry to a shed which belonged to a pigeon club, again nothing was stolen. And at Meadow Park thieves went into an insecure garden shed and stole a garden strimmer.
    Belford Golf Club at South Road was also broken into, with items from the trophy cabinet and alcohol stolen. It’s believed the five offences may be connected.
    Police are stepping up patrols in the village and the Neighbourhood Policing Team will be speaking with local residents to reassure them and pass on crime prevention advice.
    They will also ensure residents get their hands on free shed locks funded by the Local Multi Agency Partnership.
    Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Garrick said: “We had a spate of offences reported on Monday which we believe have happened over the weekend, at this stage we think they may be connected.
    “We’re carrying out enquiries to trace the person or people responsible and would urge anyone with information to contact us. Local officers will be in the village reassuring people, giving out free locks and ensuring they have crime prevention advice.
    “Residents should make sure sheds are locked with a sturdy lock at all times and that anything of value inside is also attached to an immovable or heavy object, residents should also consider installing an alarm, which deters thieves.
    “Security lighting and CCTV in garden areas also puts off opportunist criminals. Residents should be vigilant and report any suspicious or unusual vehicles or people to police straight away.”
    Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers
    (Reproduced from Berwick Advertiser, July 2nd)
    Gardien Comment: See the article on Shed Security at http://www.garden-security.co.uk/shed-security-print.htm