Garden theft on the rise

Garden theft on the rise

Bronze statues, staddle stones and items from shepherd’s sheds are some of latest targets for green fingered thieves

The illustrious rise of the humble garden shed famously hit the headlines earlier this year when former Prime Minister David Cameron revealed he spent £25,000 on his shepherd’s shed. According to data from NFU Mutual, the average claim for garden sheds sprouted up by nearly a third last year.

Thieves are enjoying shedloads of rich pickings, with a wood-burning stove from a shepherd’s shed and a quantity of fine whiskies and wines amongst the stolen items reported to the insurer.

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Commonly targeted and costly garden items typically include lawnmowers, heating oil and tools. However, solar panels, garden gates, and pets are growing theft trends.

Ross Garner, Home Insurance Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “The garden has become an extension of our homes with many homeowners investing in expensive ornaments, trees and furniture to enhance their outdoor space.

With thieves increasingly turning their attention to gardens, which are often easier targets, NFU Mutual is advising homeowners to install extra security measures in the garden as well as the home to protect them from green-fingered thieves.

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Hints & tips for protecting your possessions:

• Garden plants, trees and shrubs can be a target for thieves, particularly if planted in easily transportable pots;

• Make sure you calculate the REPLACEMENT value for garden items and check expensive trees or sculptures don’t exceed the single item limit on your insurance policy;

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• Use Smart Water to mark valuable possessions (a traceable liquid used to deter theft);

• Fit heavy-duty padlocks to garages and outbuildings;

• Keep garden gates locked;

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• Keep garden tools secure and out of sight;

• Consider outside security lighting and CCTV;

• Display signs which advertise your security measures

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Steve Ott
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