Essex Police have drawn up a list of plants that help deter burglars by creating impenetrable barriers of thorns to keep out the most determined of intruders.
Among the natural security barriers in the list are prickly customers like holly, blackthorn and pyracantha (firethorn); but the police also recommend strong, impenetrable thickets of creeping juniper, bamboo and giant rhubarb.
The force’s ‘Secured by Design’ show garden was created by an experienced garden designer working with police security specialists and shows measures all gardeners can incorporate easily into their own gardens for peace of mind.
Security features the police recommend which make life harder for thieves include internal alarms and padlocks on sheds, as well as chains to secure tools; 2m high fencing topped with a trellis so it’s strong enough to support a plant but not the weight of an intruder; and using gravel for paths as it’s noisy to walk on so you get plenty of warning of the arrival of unwanted visitors. Other measures include low- energy security lighting, and ground anchors to secure valuable containers.
You’ll find burglar-proof plants, fencing and trellises, and security equipment here at the garden centre in Woolsington; please ask staff for more details on how to keep your garden safe.