10 July 2018

Plant pots 2

A fifth (17%) of Brits have had items stolen from their garden, with one in three (31%) claiming that they’ve been burgled twice or more in the past five years¹.

The study, released today by Co-op Insurance, also found that BBQs are most commonly stolen from gardens (27%), followed by garden furniture (21%), and garden pots (21%).

Those who are victims to summertime stealing are, on average, paying £356 to replace stolen items, with overall figures showing that garden thefts are costing the UK a total average of £1.5bn².

Perhaps to blame for items going walkabout, over a quarter (27%) of people admit to leaving things outside in the garden everyday over the summer months, with one in ten (12%) leaving items such as lawn mowers outside.

The regions where people are most likely to leave items out in the garden all year long are Wales (74%), Yorkshire and the Humber (73%), and London (66%).

The most commonly stolen items from the garden are:

  1. BBQ (27%)
  2. Garden furniture (21%)
  3. Pots (20%)
  4. Plants/shrubs/trees/hanging baskets (17%)
  5. Garden machinery e.g. lawn mowers (14%)

The most popular things to leave outside in the garden are:

  1. Pots (60%)
  2. Garden furniture (53%)
  3. Patio furniture (42%)
  4. Ornamental lighting e.g. fairy lights, solar lights, spotlights (33%)
  5. BBQ (26%)

The study also reveals the most unusual items that have been stolen from gardens with pond life (e.g. Koi Carp – 6%), bags of coal, and garden gates topping the list, as well as 129,000 gnomes going awol.

The research also revealed that homeowners are becoming relaxed with basic home security. One in five (22%) leave their windows open, and a fifth (20%) have hidden home deliveries in their gardens.

In terms of the worst culprits for risking home security, 80% of 25-34 year olds admitted to behaviours such as leaving windows open and leaving items that could be used to break windows outside. This is compared to just 38% of over-65s.

With this in mind, Co-op Insurance is urging homeowners to check that their gardens are secure, and their contents are insured, to avoid any opportunistic burglaries this summer.

Caroline Hunter, Head of Home Insurance at Co-op said:

"With the summer weather set to continue over the next few weeks, we’re all taking advantage of our gardens and outside spaces.

"Whilst we should have fun in the sun, once finished with any outdoor activities, it’s important to remember that opportunistic burglaries do happen, and items left in gardens over the summer could be targeted.

"Make sure any items of values are stored away, gates and windows are locked, and any items that could be used for a break in (such as ladders, or heavy items that could be used to smash windows) are put away or out of sight."

Co-op Insurance is offering top tips to homeowners enjoying their gardens this summer:

  1. Check your insurance: Check you have adequate insurance cover and make sure you are clear on what is covered. Most household policies will be covered up to a certain amount, but insurers may specify that items should be locked in a shed, garage or brought into the house. If you have left your items unlocked and outside, insurers may refuse to pay out.

  2. Store away items that could be used to access your house: Such as ladders, and other tall items like wheelie bins that burglars can use to get into a home. Small, heavy items that could be used to smash windows should also be stored away.

  3. Don’t advertise to thieves: Lighter evenings mean all your expensive power tools, bikes and children's toys are more visible to opportunist criminals, be sure to keep any valuable items out of sight and wherever possible, keep them locked away or indoors.

  4. Leave deliveries with a neighbour: If you’re not in to sign for a delivery, make sure someone else is. Don’t ask parcels to be stored behind garden furniture, or in a wheelie bin, these are easy targets.

  5. Lock up your valuables: Secure sheds with a padlock attached to a strong hasp and staple. Ensure shed hinges are secured with coach bolts. Always ensure gates, garages and outbuildings remain bolted with a secure lock. If you have a tree or plant that is valuable, invest in an automatic alarm that wakes you, should anyone try to remove it.


Media Contacts

Jenna Moss
07770 441 828

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Notes to Editors

¹Research was conducted among 2000 homeowners with gardens in June 2018 on behalf of the Co-op by Atomik Research.

²According to ONS, there are 27.2 million households in the UK: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/families/bulletins/familiesandhouseholds/2017

According to research from the Royal Horticultural Society in 2014, 93% of people have a garden or grow plants: http://press.rhs.org.uk/RHS/files/a5/a5469e4b-5ebe-4094-8f17-9de3f1826c82.pdf

93% of 27.2 million = 25,296,000 17% (thefts) of 25,296,000 = 4,300,320 £355.96 x 4,300,320 = £1,530,741,907.20

About Co-op Insurance

Co-op Insurance is part of the Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-ops, owned by millions of members. Alongside Co-op Insurance, we have the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the UK’s number one funeral services provider, and a developing legal services business.

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Co-op is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes.