Useful Garden Security advice from the Police
Your garden, as well as your house, has valued possessions that thieves would love to steal. It also has equipment that could help them break into your house.
Most burglars are lazy. They look for easy ways of getting into a house or garden. By taking a few simple precautions you can reduce the risk of being burgled and make your house and garden more secure.
One of the best ways to keep thieves out is to use nature’s own defence mechanisms to stop intruders. A barrier of prickly hedge may be all the protection you need around your property. Here are some suggestions for plants to use.
We have tried to identify the plants mentioned by their correct botanical name, but we cannot guarantee that the plant you buy will not grow into a small, fragrant flowering shrub with no more thorns than a daisy.
Juniperis horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ – Also known as ‘Blue Rug’ because it has long branches and its prostrate shape forms a flattened blue carpet. It has a thorny stem and foliage.
Picea pungens ‘Globosa’ – Rigid branches, irregular dense blue, spiky needles. Height 1-1.25m x 75cm – 1 m. Slow growing. Moist rich soil.
Ilex agulfolium – Large evergreen shrub, dark green spiked leaves. Large red berries on female plants only. Any well drained soil. Plant with garden compost and bone-meal.
(Gunnera manicata)- Giant rhubarb-like leaves on erect stems, abrasive foliage. Can grow up to 2.5m high. Plant by water-side for effect.
Phyllostachys aurea- Very graceful, forming thick clumps of up to 3.5m high. Less invasive than other bamboos. Hardy. Young shoots in spring.
Zizyphus sativa – Medium sized tree with very spiny pendulous branches. Leaves glossy bright green. Bears clusters of small yellow flowers.
Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ – Flowers white in June, with bright orange-red berries. Thorny stem. Height 10-15ft. Suitable for north or east-facing wall or as impenetrable hedging.
Although they will take some time to grow, the end result justifies the effort. They should deter even the most determined burglar.
Hedges and shrubs in the front garden should be kept to a height of no more than 3 feet in order to avoid giving a burglar a screen behind which he can conceal himself.
For further information and advice please contact the crime prevention officer at your local police station.
Stop garden thieves: If you see or hear anything suspicious, dial 999
What you can do to improve your garden security
Put away all tools and equipment and ensure that all outside sheds and store cupboards are securely locked when not in use.
Bring the tools inside if you do not have a garden shed or outbuilding.
Use plant protection – such as thorny shrubs.
Install outside security lighting which comes on automatically.
If you have a burglar alarm, why not extend it to cover outbuildings and sheds?
Photograph valuable garden plants or ornaments.
Mark your property with your postcode. This makes stolen property easier to trace and it can be positively identified as yours.
Check that your household insurance policy covers theft from your garden and outbuildings.
If you have a local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, why not join?
If you have a burglary, don’t move or touch anything, just ring 999.
Information from the http://www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention website
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