TIM DREW: Make sure your belongings are secure

As the days become warmer and evenings lighter, opportunistic thieves increasingly find gardens a happy hunting-ground with plants, hanging baskets, turf, garden machinery and furniture, pots and children's toys all high on the list of items stolen.

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Neighbourhood Watch sponsor Co-op Insurance has revealed that thefts from gardens have risen by 48 per cent since 2011, with such thefts peaking during July and August and almost twice as likely (45 per cent) to happen during these months as in February.

The average cost associated with a garden theft has risen by almost half (48 per cent).

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

According to Co-op Insurance claims data, the average total claim now stands at £208, putting a total of £517million worth of garden items at risk.

Despite this, 77 per cent of the victims did not claim for the items on their home insurance, while five per cent had no home insurance in place at all.

Co-op Insurance’s advice is to check not only that you have adequate insurance cover, but also that you ensure that you are clear on what is being covered.

Please be aware that insurers may specify that items such as garden tools (which could also be used to force an entry if found lying around by a thief) should be locked in a shed, garage or brought into the house when not in use.

If you have left your items unlocked and outside, insurers may refuse to pay out on a claim.

Sheds should be secured with a padlock attached to a strong hasp and staple, and shed hinges be secured with coach bolts.

Gates, garages and outbuildings should remain bolted with a secure lock, and the strength of the doors themselves should be ensured.

It is always advisable to tag items with your postcode using invisible ink.

In addition, take photographs of your more valuable items, in case an insurer requires proof of ownership – and don’t forget to register the details of your property on Immobilise.


Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.worthingherald.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Worthing.news

3) Follow us on Twitter @Worthing_Herald

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Worthing Herald - always the first with your local news.