Sunday, June 13, 2010

Attacks on staff prompt HTA security workshop for garden centre staff

Attacks on staff and spiralling customer theft has prompted an HTA (Horticultural Trades Association) fight back by rerunning popular workshops on tightening up garden-centre security.
The Security & Loss Prevention events from July to November are targeted at horticulture businesses including garden centre owners, directors and managers.
"The workshops will look at security issues that, if not solved, erode profits and incur costs," said an HTA security advisor, Jeremy Davies.
Day-to-day safety concerns tackled will include customer theft, spotting tell-tale behaviour of a thief but also reducing staff theft.
Davies, with business development adviser Neville Stein, will cover reducing the risk of cash-motivated attacks, burglary and vandalism and how to go about civil recovery.
"Attendees will learn easy-to-apply and workable solutions that can be applied, in most cases, without additional investment from the business," said Davies.
Amanda Lynas, manager of Sunnybank Garden Centre who went last year, said she benefited from an HTA crime survey and listening to other HTA members' experiences.
Caroline Palmer, managing director for Palmers Garden Centre said: "We found the workshop quite an eye opener, with good ideas, not all requiring money."
Six £75 workshops are at Coolings, Sevenoaks, 6 July; Poplars, Dunstable, 27 September; Cadbury, Bristol, 6 October; Melbicks, Birmingham, 21 October; Barton Grange, Preston, 16 November; Mugdoch, Glasgow, 25 November.
Meanwhile police gave anti-burglary security tips to shoppers at Blooms Garden Centre in Harsefield, last week.
"Blooms is one of a number of garden centres in the county that are taking part in Gloucestershire Constabulary's Defensive Gardening campaign," said the police.
The campaign, supported by Crimestoppers, encourages homeowners to use carefully chosen plants to help protect their gardens and homes from criminals in summer.

(Reproduced from Horticulture Week, 13th June 2010 at )

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Home Owners Should Take Effective Measures To Prevent Garden Theft, Says

As the heat wave starts and the patio furniture and BBQs appear from the shed,, the UK's largest match making service for home improvers and recommended tradesmen, is encouraging home owners to take effective measures to prevent garden theft this summer. Recent research has revealed that 24.2 per cent of British home owners have fallen victim to outdoor theft and with the average garden containing £1,040 worth of outdoor furniture, garden tools, children's play equipment and BBQs, it's certainly worth home owners increasing the security of their gardens -- and there are many ways in which this can be done.

(Reproduced from, June 8th)

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Monday, June 7, 2010


Police in Telford have issued a warning to local residents after a recent rise in the number of incidents where items such as garden furniture and bicycles have been taken from gardens in the town. The arrival of summer often sees an increase in thefts from gardens and sheds and although crime remains low across Telford & Wrekin, and West Mercia as a whole, around 1,000 shed burglaries do take place every year across West Mercia. The most recent garden theft in Telford - which is one of six over the past two weeks - occurred at an address on Bishopdale in Brookside sometime between 10.45pm on Wednesday 2nd June and 5am on Thursday 3rd June. Sometime overnight thieves entered the rear garden at the property through the gate and stole a number of items from inside. The stolen items include a set of garden furniture - including an oval table, 4 metal chairs and 2 reclining chairs; a hexagonal charcoal barbecue and two Apollo, mini mountain bikes. One of the bikes is light blue in colour while the other is dark blue.
Garden security is part of West Mercia Police's Safe & Secure campaign, which provides people with advice about how they can make their homes, gardens and cars more secure. The force has produced a leaflet that gives further security advice, which is available to download from the force website ( and from garden centres and police stations. PC Fred Jones, Crime Risk Manager in Telford, said: "While many people take steps to protect their homes and the property inside them, they often leave valuable equipment such as power tools, mowers, garden tools and bikes in sheds in their gardens or allotments. Often they are unsecured or not strong or secure enough to defend against thieves." We are advising people to look at how to secure their gardens and allotments and if necessary make some adjustments. Allotments in particular are becoming more and more popular, so now is a good time to advise those who are taking them on of a few simple steps they can take to reduce the risk of being targeted by thieves." PC Jones advises local residents to do the following: Gates, fences and walls should be kept in good repair to stop intruders getting in your garden. Grow 'defensive planting' (prickly plants, bushes and shrubs) close to vulnerable areas such as windows, fences, boundary walls and drainpipes. Most sheds are not designed for safe storage and should not be used to store expensive equipment such as garden tools, mowers and power tools. Never leave such items in an allotment shed and put up a sign to let potential thieves know it is not worth their while attempting to break in. If you have nowhere else to store expensive equipment at home, take measures to secure your domestic shed by using a closed shackle padlock and screws that cannot be undone from the outside. Chain together tools to heavy items so they are harder to steal. Battery-powered shed alarms are inexpensive and can be bought from hardware shops, DIY stores or locksmiths. Don't leave ladders and tools lying around in your garden - these could be used to break into your home. . Mark your tools and equipment using Smartwater or with your postcode using a UV pen. Make a note of the serial numbers on your equipment.

(Reproduced from West Mercia Police bulletin, June 6th)

Gardien Tip: We keep saying it - garden crime is serious problem in the UK. Advice and solutions can be found together at

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Police to give crime prevention advice at Haresfield garden centre

Officers from the Stonehouse police Safer Community Team (SCT) will be at Blooms Garden Centre tomorrow, Saturday June 5, offering green fingered shoppers crime prevention advice.
Between 1pm and 3pm the officers will be on hand at the garden centre on Bath Road in Haresfield with advice on personal safety as well as security tips for your home and car. The officers will also happily discuss with keen gardeners how specific plants and security measures in your garden can help stop thieves in their tracks.
Blooms is one of a number of garden centres in the county that are taking part in Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Defensive Gardening campaign.
The campaign is supported by Crimestoppers and was so successful last year that it won funding from Secured by Design to run again this year. It aims to encourage homeowners to use carefully chosen plants to help protect their gardens and homes from criminals during the summer months.
The bright green ‘Spiky’ mascot for the campaign was named by schoolchildren at Severnbanks Primary school in Lydney and will appear on pots, plant tags and displays in garden centres and nurseries that are supporting the initiative, to identify the shrubs that could help you protect your home.
An impenetrable hedge is just as effective as security fencing and looks far more attractive; spiky shrubs around vulnerable windows can serve as a deterrent to those tempted to break in and small purchases from a garden centre such as shed alarms and dawn to dusk lights can go a long way to helping deter thieves.
More information about the Defensive Gardening campaign and a comprehensive list of the types of prickly plants to purchase can be found on the Gloucestershire Constabulary website.

(Reproduced from Stroud News and Journal, June 4th)

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