According to ONS statistics 59% of domestic burglaries in the home take place during the evening or night, with the figure rising to as high as 81% for domestic burglaries in a building that is not connected to the house, such as a garden shed.

So with the number of daylight hours becoming increasingly shorter and the impending arrival of the official Winter Time on Sunday 30th October, it is more important than ever to review your home security measures.

This blog post provides some practical advice on some of the steps you can take to protect yourself, property and garden against the opportunist burglar.

  • If you go out make sure that you leave a radio and lights on to make the property appear occupied.  If you have the luxury of two cars, park one in your driveway or ask a neighbour if they’d be happy to park their car there for the evening

  • Always shut any gates around the perimeter of the home securely and check that the closing mechanism is working effectively.  Ideally hinges and locks should be galvanised to provide added protection against rust.

  • Automated gates can help reduce the possibility that someone can just walk into a driveway or property grounds.


  • Invest in some quality motion activated outdoor security lights, which will automatically illuminate an area if movement is detected i.e. a prowling burglar!  Lighting equipment should be fitted to the front, side and rear of the home

  • Don’t make it easy for a burglar to get into the house by leaving ladders or large bins which can be used as climbing aids – or even any tools which might be suitable for cutting through any security systems - outside.  Keep garden sheds securely locked up.  High value items in the shed such as bikes or lawn mowers should be padlocked to a heavy immovable object to make it difficult for a burglar to shift them

  • Let nature lend a helping hand in creating an effective anti-burglar boundary on your side of any fencing and especially around any side access points. Stocking up on ‘defensive’ plants such as berberis, crataegus monogyna (hawthorn) or good old fashioned climbing roses can help create an impenetrable barrier that the majority of burglars won’t want to entertain, visit thecrimepreventionwebsite.com/garden-boundaries for more details

    berberis plant

  • Install gravel paths and drives to make it difficult for anyone to approach the house without being heard.  Similarly lay some gravel near any windows or doors

  • If you choose to add a trellis panel on top of a fence or gate which takes the overall height to over 2 metres you will require planning permission.  However, growing a thorny plant along the top of a 2 metre fence – provided it does not feature any support structures – does not require planning permission – unless there are covenants or local restrictions in place. Check with your local planning authority first

  • According to Secured by Design it is desirable for passers-by to be able to have a sight line to the front of your home so it is recommended that shrubs and borders are kept to a maximum height of 1 metre to avoid creating an effective screen for the burglar. You may find that if your house is sited in an area where the majority of properties feature open planned front gardens, that there are restrictions in place relating to installing a hedge or fence to the front of the property

  • Check that the property is protected by a robust, secure perimeter fence and gate which is sufficiently sturdy to frustrate any attempts to push it over, remove any panels or parts, kick it through or climb over it.  Timber fencing is easily compromised if the posts securing the panels are rotten so always seek out a fence which offers a long life time guarantee against rot or boring insects. Find out more about the definitive guide to quality timber treatment by downloading our guide

    For more advice on how to protect your home contact your local Crime Reduction Officer or Neighbourhood Policing Team based at your local police station.  You can also speak to an advisor at Jacksons to discuss your external security needs. Call us on {% PhoneNumber %}