Shed, garage and garden crime

Reducing shed, garage and garden crime

Burglars aren't only interested in the valuables inside your house. Equipment kept in a garage, shed or garden can be just as tempting (and is sometimes used to break into a house). Many houses are securely alarmed but garages and sheds are often left insecure and therefore offer 'easy pickings' for a criminal.

By following the advice given below you could deter potential burglars and help keep your property safe.

Sheds, garages and outbuildings

  • Use a good quality fixings and a padlock to secure shed and garage doors.
  • To prevent a burglar from unscrewing door hinges, use anti-tamper screws or smear hard setting glue on the screw-heads.
  • If possible, lock any windows or fit internal bars or grilles.
  • Install either a mains-powered or battery-powered shed alarm - available from DIY stores.

Tools and equipment

  • Use a forensic coding product to 'property mark' all valuable tools and equipment with your postcode and/or house number. This makes items uniquely identifiable - and less attractive to a thief.
  • If possible, secure lawnmowers and other valuable equipment to a shed or garage wall.
  • Lock tools away when you aren't using them.
  • Register valuable equipment at or photograph items and take a note of make and model and any serial numbers. This helps with identification if items are stolen.
  • If possible, fit a lockable wire-cage for storing expensive items inside your shed.

In the garden

  • Lay crunchy gravel on the approach to your house if possible. Thieves hate drawing attention to themselves by making a noise.
  • Your wheelie bin could be used as a climbing aid or even as a means of transporting stolen property. Secure it by padlocking it to a wall bracket or drainpipe or position it away from the accessible windows.
  • Securing the perimeter of your garden will help to protect your property. Plant low hedges or install low, good quality fencing - it will make a potential burglar feel exposed and perhaps think twice.
  • A good option is trellised fencing which doesn't obstruct visibility and is difficult to climb over.

Let nature help

Nature can help provide an effective (and attractive) deterrent to anyone thinking of entering your garden.

  • Select your plants carefully. Holly and hawthorn are particularly difficult to get through.
  • Protect drainpipes with anti-climb paint or a climbing rose to deter access to windows and flat roofs.
  • Plant prickly, deciduous shrubs next to walls or fences as an effective barrier for anyone attempting to climb in.