Forget about getting a guard dog, the latest weapon against burglars is a “crime prevention garden” – and green-fingered householders will get a chance to see it for the first time next month.
The garden, designed by the police crime prevention initiative Secured By Design, is on display at the Hampton Court Palace flower show from 2-8 July.
The 28m x 5.5m display was designed by horticultural students Jacqueline Poll and Lucy Glover, who were the joint winners of a competition last year.
The garden will have around 16 crime prevention features including a gravel path (so burglars can’t creep in undetected), thick spiky leaves and thorny bushes, thin tall trees that give criminals nowhere to hide, and dawn-to-dusk lighting...
A spokesman for Secured by Design said the measures make a difference because burglars evaluate properties before they enter them, “they don’t want to be seen and they don’t want to climb over prickly bushes... they are looking for something quick and easy”.
He added that homeowners did not need to replicate the garden to secure their properties, but added that it would provide people with plenty of practical options to consider.
It is hoped that if more homeowners consider security outside their homes, rather than just inside it, police will be freed up to “deal with more concerning crimes like tackling violence”.
According to the latest crime figures, only 3% of burglaries and 4% of robberies were solved in England and Wales last year.
David Lucy, of the Metropolitan Police designing out crime unit, said: “Many of these simple, affordable tips can prevent burglars getting inside homes.”
He told The Mail on Sunday that some people would be cynical but added: “We have to be clever managing police resources. If this stops another elderly lady being a victim then it’s worth it. We’re doing this for the right reasons.”
The Capel Manor College doubles as a garden that is open to the public and has featured a crime prevention garden for 10 years.