Posted: 5th July 2016
Shropshire gardeners have been warned their pride and joy may be at risk as thieves become increasingly determined to steal anything that’s on show – including turf.
Jenny Osborne, from Henshalls Insurance Brokers, in Newport and Shrewsbury, said research had shown garden thefts were on the rise with over 2.5 million households becoming the victim of green fingered thieves at least once.
“It’s not just obvious items like garden machinery such as lawn mowers or strimmers that are being targeted either – thieves are now brazenly digging up entire plants, shrubs and trees, or making off with hanging baskets.
“And they’ve even resorted to taking turf from people’s lawns, as well as garden furniture and pots, chimeneas, and Koi Carp from garden ponds.”
Jenny said the increase in thefts had coincided with the latest trend for people to invest more time and money in their outdoor spaces.
“In the last few years, the average cost associated with a garden theft has risen by 48%, with an average claim now standing at around £208 – this means over £500 million worth of garden items are at risk across the UK. But despite such shocking figures, over 75% of adults didn’t claim on their home insurance for garden items stolen – and even worse, 5% had no home insurance in place at all.
“With summer now finally on its way, it’s the perfect time of year to clean off the garden furniture and begin to enjoy the warmer weather.
“But don’t put your garden items at risk – make sure they’re locked away or taken inside when you’re not in the garden, and if you purchase costly new items such as play equipment or furniture, it’s best to update your insurer.”
Jenny said householders should check they have adequate home insurance in place, and not leave any expensive or enticing items such as bicycles or power tools on show.
“Make sure you don’t make your home an easy target either – items such as ladders or wheelie bins can be used by burglars to get into your home, so lock them away and store them out of reach.
“July and August are the most popular months for garden thefts, so protect yourself and your garden now before the peak time arrives.”
ENDS/Henshalls garden thefts release/June 6, 2016