Garden tools and equipment are some of the top items targeted by thieves, according to the UK’s leading rural insurer.
NFU Mutual’s latest Rural Crime Survey suggests thieves are increasingly turning their attention to gardens, which are often easy targets, and advises homeowners to install extra security measures in the garden as well as the home to protect them from green-fingered thieves.
The cost of garden theft claims topped £2.6m in 2013 and made up 23% of all household thefts, an increase of 29% on the previous year. The average claim was over £1,800 and the most commonly targeted and costly items included lawnmowers, heating oil and tools. Interestingly, garden gates, ornaments, plants and pets were also among the commonly targeted items.
So what can you do to protect your garden and its contents?
Use SmartWater to mark valuable possessions
Fit heavy-duty padlocks to garages and other outbuildings
Avoid leaving valuables on view
Keep garden gates locked
Keep garden tools secure and out of sight
Consider outside security lighting and CCTV
Display signs that advertise your security measures
Ensure you have adequate home insurance cover
Victoria Walton, Home Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “Security can deter thieves from trying their luck in you garden, but insurance is important too. Our gardens are now, more than ever, an extension of our homes, often with expensive contents so it’s worth checking what cover your home policy provides, and the amount it covers.”
The Mutual surveyed its network of more than 300 agencies throughout rural areas of the UK to identify current trends. The Rural Crime Survey revealed the cost of crime to the rural economy totalled £44.5m in 2013 – up 5.2% on 2012.
The Mutual also organises the Country Crime Fighters Awards, a nationwide competition to support and encourage examples of crime prevention taking place in the countryside.
“The awards highlight and rewarded initiatives that unite communities and help to beat rural crime and we are looking forward to receiving more entries this year,” added Victoria.
To enter the Country Crime Fighter awards visit nfumutual.co.uk/crimefighters, entries close on 18th August.
For more information visit nfumutual.co.uk/ruralcrime
(Reproduced from easier.com 13th August 2014)
Gardien Comment: More advice and quality garden security products can be found at www.garden-security.co.uk