Spring triggers garden crime wave

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

As the clocks go forward in a few weeks time, many Brits can look forward to long summer days.

While many enjoy basking in the sun, UK residents may also get a more unwelcome consequence of the balmy weather as garden crime rates increase.

According to the latest figures from insurance firm, Aviva, thefts from gardens increase by over 25% when the clocks go forward. The average haul in lawnmowers, ladders and other garden equipment comes in at an average total of £850.

Children’s toys, bikes and garden tools are also on the wish list for summertime steals.

The research found that 42% of thefts were for power tools like electric drills, planers and saws.

A further 39% of thefts were for simple hand tools like spades, shovels rakes and forks. Nearly a fifth of garden crimes were over electric and petrol lawnmowers, chainsaws and ladders.

The study, compiled after ten years of research, found that thefts from outside the home start to increase as the evenings get lighter at the beginning of March. This figure rises by 10% compared to the darker winter months.

Thefts peak in the summer months of July and August when they’re almost 40% higher than at the beginning of the year.

Peter Ketteringham, household underwriting manager at Aviva, says: "Extra hours of sunlight are obviously very welcome after months of darkness, but it also means that your expensive power tools, bikes and golf clubs are more visible than ever to a passing thief, as is your home security- or lack of it!”

"So try not to advertise what you've got, make sure sheds and summerhouses are properly secured and clear up your garden every evening so there's nothing lying around that could tempt a criminal on to your property,” he added.

Theft of any kind can be frustrating and if you do not have any insurance cover in place you might have to pay for the replacement yourself. During these tough economic times, you might not have the funds set aside to replace your stolen items, therefore it could be worth taking out a credit card in case of emergencies.

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