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Garden Security

The design of your garden can improve the security of your home. Boundaries of thick and prickly plants and shrubs are not easy to climb over. This makes crossing densely planted areas difficult to do quickly or quietly. It will also reduce a burglar's opportunity to hide out of sight.

Garden Security IconDefensive Planting

Use plants and shrub beds to protect the following vulnerable areas:

  • Under vulnerable windows.
  • Around areas that could be climbed on.
  • Around the boundary of your garden where there may be easy access from the outside.
  • Along the entire boundary if your home backs onto open land.

We recommend using plants such as Holly, Mahonia, Rose, Gorse, Berberis, Quince, Blackberry, Hawthorn.


As well as security lighting around your house, consider installing dusk till dawn sensor lighting in other areas of your garden, especially around sheds and outbuildings. Lighting up your garden at night can be a very successful crime prevention measure.

  • Fit automatically activated lights at the front and rear of your home. It is a good idea to consult a qualified electrician for advice on the type of lighting and installation.
  • A light activated system will come on automatically when darkness falls and switch off when it gets light; this acts as a good deterrent to burglars because it gives light all night.
  • A passive infra-red (PIR) light will automatically come on if it detects heat movement. These systems are very sensitive and can be set off accidentally by pets or wild animals. If the light is fitted with a high wattage bulb it is important to aim the beam away from buildings and roads as it may annoy your neighbours or dazzle motorists.
  • Fix your outside lights where it is difficult for intruders to reach. In addition use the type of lighting which has bulbs that are hard to take out.

Garden ornaments:

  • Secure your garden furniture using anchoring devices. These can also be used to protect expensive plants such as ornamental trees.
  • Use security brackets to secure hanging baskets.
  • Protect garden furniture and valuable ornaments by installing remote movement detectors. These are only suitable for heavy objects that are not affected by wind or casual vibration.

Other considerations:

  • Noisy and crunchy surfaces such as gravel and shingle can prevent someone moving around quietly. Consider using around outbuildings, shed and narrow passageways.
  • Remove loose bricks and stones.
  • Secure dustbins using a bicycle chain or D-lock fixed to a suitable point (such as a ground anchor).
  • Lock your tools away (see Sheds, Outbuildings and Tools for more information).
  • Speak to your neighbours and encourage them to listen out for unusual noises or breaking glass. Ask them to report suspicious activity to the police.