Garden security

The design of your garden can improve the security of your home.

Defensive planting

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.

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.

Plants we recommend for such use include:

  • Pyracantha
  • Holly
  • Mahonia
  • Rose
  • Gorse
  • Berberis
  • Quince
  • Blackberry
  • Hawthorn

At the front of your home, we recommend the maximum height of shrubs be 1M and the minimum height from the ground of tree canopies be 3M.  This will reduce a burglar’s opportunity to hide out of sight.


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.

Consider installing in areas of the garden that are shadowy and dark at night.  Think about where a burglar might hide.  You might also want to think about defensive planting in that area too. Do not use lighting in a position where it dazzles you or prevents you from seeing into the area beyond it. 

At the rear of properties, consider using motion detection security lighting. Mount this type of lighting about 2.75M high with the sensor pointing downwards. Please consider your neighbours and don’t use a light that exceeds 150W.

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.
  • Use concrete or mortar to secure rockeries and planters.
  • Secure dustbins using a bicycle chain or d-lock fixed to a suitable point (such as a ground anchor).
  • Lock your tools away.  See our section on sheds, outbuildings and tools.
  • 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.

Report it

If you have been a victim of a burglary, call 101 or report it online.

If a burglary is in progress and you are in immediate danger, call 999.

More help and support

For further advice or recommendations, contact our Crime Prevention Advisors

This contact is for crime prevention advice only.  Please do not use this email address to report crime.  Call 101, or 999 in an emergency.

24 May 21 2:31 PM

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