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Lock up your shed: £30m stolen from outbuildings in three years

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05/03/2021
Don't leave your belongings at risk, as burglars target outbuildings such as garages
Lock up your shed: £30m stolen from outbuildings in three years

More than £30m worth of goods have been stolen from garden sheds and outbuildings across England and Wales since the beginning of 2018, according to Churchill Home Insurance.

In this time, over 70,000 cases of theft from a garden shed have been reported to police forces – the equivalent of 64 each day.

High value items

Around £26,500 worth of claims for thefts from sheds, garages and outbuildings were made every day throughout 2020.

The average value of items stored in an outbuilding is £1,414, although one in 12 people (eight per cent) store goods worth more than £5,000 in their shed.

In 2020, thefts from outbuildings accounted for a fifth (20 per cent) of all burglary claims but more than two-third of us (67%) admit our outbuildings are easily accessible from outside their property.

Even more worrying, one in six (16 per cent) admit they don’t do anything to secure them.

The most broken into outbuildings are garages (50 per cent), followed by sheds (37 per cent) and bike sheds (eight per cent). Properties with easy access to gardens such as semi-detached (31 per cent), detached (22 per cent) and end-of-terraces (16 per cent) account for the majority of outbuilding thefts.

What’s stolen?

Bikes were the most common item stolen from outbuildings and accounted for over half (52 per cent) of all items reported stolen to police forces.

Tools and hardware accounted for 22 per cent of thefts, followed by gardening equipment and plants (eight per cent), electronics and appliances (seven per cent) and raw materials (seven per cent).

Pritpal Powar, head of Churchill Home Insurance, said: “This research shows just how easy it can be for burglars to steal goods from outbuildings. Many of us don’t give the same attention to the security of outbuildings as we do our main home, yet often store valuable goods there. These are great storage facilities, but we need to make sure they are not an easy target for burglars.

“Taking some simple steps will help deter burglars and these don’t need to be expensive security systems. Installing locks, removing valuables from sight and making sure the outbuilding is easily viewed or well-lit from your main residence will all contribute to making your home less of a target.”

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