Hedge your bets! How trimming the privet could keep burglars off your turf
To keep burglars at bay, a chainsaw may come in handy…
For pruning your front hedge so that it’s no more than one metre (3ft) high is being recommended to avoid giving thieves cover.
Millions of Britons used lockdowns to sculpt and improve their gardens.
But while a wall of greenery may be a barrier to noise, people and pollution, a hedge is also a burglar’s best friend.
The official advice from Crimestoppers is to have a low hedge at the front but a tall one, around 6ft, at the back that would be hard to climb over.
Mick Duthie, of Crimestoppers, said: ‘We know that what matters most to criminals is not being seen. A high front hedge gives them cover while they’re in a property or garden.
‘We recommend keeping all hedges thick, prickly and dense to further deter intruders.’
A poll of 1,000 households found more than two-thirds had a front hedge exceeding 3ft. And nearly a third in the survey by John Lewis Home Insurance keep theirs at double this height or taller.
James Barwell, Head of John Lewis Home Insurance, said: ‘As people prepare to go away this summer they’ll be thinking about how they can keep their homes secure. Our survey found a lack of awareness of the importance of hedge height and confusion about whether hedges should be high, or low to deter burglars.
‘During the lockdown many people bought more items for their homes and gardens as they became the place where we worked, entertained, slept and ate.
‘We saw sales of tech in the home increase significantly and people invested in their gardens with new garden furniture, fire pits and pizza ovens, so it’s really important to ensure the right insurance cover is in place and to keep these items safe.’
John Blackstaff, Plant Nursery Manager at the John Lewis Partnership’s Leckford Estate said: ‘There are plenty of hedge species that provide additional security without compromising the appearance of your garden.
‘I recommend Pyracantha – Firethorn – an evergreen, vigorous and thorny plant, as its name suggests.
‘A Holly bush is also a good traditional evergreen whose prickly leaves will ward off intruders. For something a bit brighter, try Rose Glow, which has lovely copper and pink leaves, or Blackthorn, which blossoms in spring. Both can act as impenetrable yet stylish barriers.’