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Do the boundaries of your premises provide the best protection

Start by looking at the front, side and rear boundaries. If you were a burglar, how would you gain access?

Front boundaries define ownership and should allow natural vision from neighbours and passers-by, as the perception is that they are effectively policing the front of the property, whether or not this is actually the case. This makes people acting suspiciously feel more conspicuous.

Some side and rear boundaries back onto alleyways, service roads and driveways and some back onto other gardens. Side gates are often set back from the front building line, which provides a recessed area for burglars to get into and act, without being seen.

Burglars often find it easy to make their way to the rear of properties unheard and unseen, by simply walking down open driveways or through open or insecure side gates.

As a rule, rear boundaries tend to be too low or insecure to present any real difficulty to determined burglars, who can garden-hop at will.

Remove the opportunities for burglary:

  • front boundaries should not exceed 1m in height - unless they are metal railings, which allow natural vision through

  • side and rear boundaries should be a minimum of 1.8m in height
    If the height of the boundary exceeds 2m in height, planning permission may be required. An additional diamond style trellis topping is difficult to climb and provides an ideal framework for spiky defensive planting, such as climbing roses.

  • side and driveway gates should be the same height as the side and rear boundaries and, where possible, be level with the front building line, to eliminate recessed areas which exceed 600mm

  • metal side and driveway gates allow good natural surveillance, but need careful design to reduce climbing points, particularly at the locking and hinge points
    An anti-climb topping, such as a decorative spearhead design, will make the gates difficult to climb over.

  • wooden side and driveway gates should be secured on the inside with two substantial hasps and staples with closed shackle padlocks - one towards the top and one towards the bottom, to reduce leverage

  • barbed wire, carpet gripper or broken glass are not advisable
    These may cause serious injury, which the occupier could be legally responsible for. There are alternative preventative anti-climb toppings, such as safe plastic strips with rows of pointed cones on top, which make it difficult to grip the top of fences or walls, but will not cause injury. A warning sign may be required.

  • gravel driveways and paths prevent a silent approach

  • wheelie bins should be stored behind secure side gates until collection day, to prevent them being used as climbing aids