But a survey of 1,000 British households with garden hedges, commissioned by John Lewis Home Insurance, reveals a widespread lack of awareness of the importance of hedges in keeping our homes safe.
Three-quarters (74%) of Scots surveyed admitted their front rail exceeds the meter in height recommended by police and charities Crimestoppers. Nearly a third of Scottish respondents (32%) hold the hedge at twice the recommended height, or even higher. Only a quarter (25%) consider the impact of higher front hedges in securing their homes.
Across the UK, nearly half (48%) of those asked do not change the height of their fence, or keep it at the appropriate height for them, and one in ten choose the height based on their neighbours’ hedge. One in eight say “style” on safety has the most influence on front fence height.
Backyard hedges can also help protect homes, but police advice to them is to reverse front hedges. You should keep them over 1.8m high so thieves can hardly climb over them, but nearly half (48%) of households surveyed said the back hedge was 1.5m or less.
James Barwell, president of John Lewis Home Insurance, said: “As people prepare to move out this summer, they will be thinking about how to keep their homes safe. Our survey found a lack of awareness of the importance of hedge heights and confusion about whether hedges should be high or low. to deter thieves.
“During the lockdown, many people have bought more items for their homes and gardens as it has become where we work, have fun, sleep and eat. We have seen a huge increase in tech sales at home and people have invested in their gardens with new garden furniture, fire pits and pizza ovens, so it is really important to ensure Provide the correct insurance coverage and keep these items safe.”
More than half (55%) of households believe that the front hedge should be above the recommended height, or they do not know what height it should be, and a similar number (54%) believe that the back hedge should be less than 1.8m , or no I don’t know what height it should be to help protect their home.
Mick Dothy, director of operations for the charity Crimestoppers, said; “In these difficult financial times, it is always wise to protect yourself as much as possible from crime, particularly from the harm of burglary which can have a devastating effect. We therefore strongly urge people to look at their garden fencing this summer and if necessary cut it down to help reduce from crime.It is a simple and free way to keep your home safer.
“People surveyed said they keep their front fencing high to prevent people from climbing on it or seeing it but we know what matters most to criminals is not being seen. A high front fencing gives them cover while they are on a property or garden, and a low back hedge gives them easy access to escape. from behind.
“It is not only the height of your fence that can repel thieves. We recommend keeping all hedges thick, thorny and dense to further deter intruders. This is especially effective for backyard hedges, where a strong hedge can prevent escape from thieves trying to get out through the back garden.”
“There are plenty of types of hedges that provide added security without compromising the look of your garden,” said John Blackstaff, director of plant nurseries at John Lewis Partnership’s Leckford Estate.
“Shrub holly is also a good traditional evergreen whose prickly leaves will deter intruders. For something a little brighter, try Rose Glow, which has beautiful copper-pink leaves, or Blackthorn, which blooms in spring. Both can act as unobtrusive hedges. Permeable yet elegant.”