With just 3 percent of burglaries solved and many going uninvestigated, London’s police force has spent £20,000 designing a garden fortified with CCTV, spiky plants, and patches of gravel to deter criminals.
Dense privet hedges backed by steel mesh fencing, 24-hour low-voltage lighting, and crunchy pathways are a few of the anti-burglar features of the garden, which will be unveiled at the Hampton Court Flower Show in July 2018, the Mail on Sunday reports.
Sergeant David Lucy, of the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Designing Out Crime’ unit, claimed that “simple, affordable tips” such as planting spiky bushes near windows and choosing slender cypress trees which are hard to hide behind and cast small shadows could “prevent burglars getting inside homes”.
Secured By Design, a Britain-wide police initiative, suggested that implementing their garden recommendations could “free up officers to catch criminals” — apparently believing that many burglars would simply give up invading homes when faced by a proliferation of Japanese barberry plants.
Lovely article in today’s Mail on Sunday about the @capelmanor #SecuredByDesign @metpoliceuk crime prevention garden which will be at the @The_RHS Hampton Court Flower Show the week after next. #RHS2018 #College #London #GardenDesign #Policing #Safety #Security #CrimePrevention pic.twitter.com/fFrKbToLi6
— Secured by Design (@securedbydesign) June 24, 2018
Since 2013, the burglary detection rate has halved from an already shockingly low 6 percent to an abysmal 3 percent, with areas such as the Derbyshire Dales suffering some 355 burglaries without a single one being solved.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police recently admitted that “Burglary presents particular challenges… [but we] are always seeking ways to increase the number of crimes we solve.”
However, figures reported in April 2018 revealed that police forces across England and Wales were not even investigating two-thirds of burglaries, with many victims simply being put through to a call handler and given a crime number over the phone.
Burglary victims in the United Kingdom are also much more likely to be present in their homes when break-ins take place than American homeowners, as alarms are unlikely to be armed and home defence is not considered a valid reason to apply for a firearms license.