- For better all-round visibility, keep plants and shrubbery at the front of the house well trimmed and no higher than three feet.
- The more sturdy your walls, fences and gates, the easier they are to climb. Attach a weak trellis on top of walls and fences or install ornamental wrought iron gates, which can pose a challenge to all but the most determined intruders. Carefully store items such as ladders and bins so they can’t be used as climbing aids.
- Thorny shrubs, such as holly or juniper, planted close to boundary fences also offer great protection.
- Intruders dislike gravel as the noise underfoot can alert residents and neighbours to their presence.
- Good external lighting with a movement sensor can be an effective way to deter intruders.
- Fit a shed alarm. You can buy a battery-operated one from DIY stores.
- An effective way to secure shed doors is to use a hasp and staple, or 'padbar'. If secured with coach bolts, padbars cannot be undone with a screwdriver. Lock the hasp over the staple with a closed shackled padlock; alarmed padlocks are even better. All of these items are available from DIY stores.
- Don’t leave flammable liquids in your shed – they’re very tempting to vandals.
- Position your shed as near to the house as you can and, ideally, where it is visible.
- Avoid storing high value garden and power tools in your shed if possible. Mark all removable items such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and garden furniture with your postcode and house number using security marking pens or special ‘forensic marking’ products such as SelectaDNA (www.selectadna.co.uk) or Smartwater (www.smartwater.tv). Doing so means that any stolen items recovered later can be returned to you, and they are more difficult to sell on so are less appealing to thieves. You can find out about free property marking events being run by the CSU on our website.
- Obscure windows with frosted adhesive vinyl or similar material, so that a thief cannot see what’s inside your shed.
- Door and window hinges can be secured with 'clutch head' or 'coffin' screws which can only be removed using a special tool.
- Look out for unaccompanied children and strangers wandering around the allotment, looking in sheds, climbing the gate or fences.
- Don’t put yourself at risk; if you witness suspicious activity report it to Kent Police by calling 101 or notify the council’s Parks Team on 01892 526121
- Lock allotment gates after arriving and when leaving, and don’t leave keys lying around.
- Don’t pile rubbish, stack wood or other objects near boundaries as they can be used to climb fences.
- Take allotment rubbish home with you or to the local tip to remove the temptation for arsonists.
- If you have an alarm system for your home, consider extending it to include the garage. Stand-alone garage alarm systems with passive infra-red detectors or a door contact system are available from DIY stores.
- 'Up and over' garage doors fitted only with a central locking device may be easily forced open. They can be further secured with a hasp and staple, and a padlock.
- If a Neighbourhood Watch scheme operates in your area, why not join? If there is no scheme and you are interested in starting one, you can find details on our website.
- Always fit locks and other security devices manufactured to British Standard.
- Make sure your home insurance policy covers you for garden theft.
- Never hide spare keys in your garden. It’s a risky practice and may invalidate your insurance.
- Some insurance policies require you to keep an inventory but it’s a good idea to keep your own record of high value items stored in your garden, garage and shed.
For this information as a PDF leaflet - see below