Britons plagued by patio prowlers

Article date: 11 April 2001

PATIO prowlers are plaguing millions ofhouseholders up and down the country, a new study revealstoday.

bout 4.2 million Britons have been victims ofgarden crooks, according to independent research commissioned bythe UK's largest insurer, Norwich Union.

The survey also reveals:

  • Washing on the line and bicycles are the items most likely tobe stolen by garden crooks
  • Precious plants and ornaments are also high on the hit listfor garden thieves
  • More than half of garden thefts occur at night (55 per cent),but two in five (39 per cent) take place in broad daylight.

Nick Pierson, head of household product developmentat Norwich Union Insurance, said: "Homeowners are constantly beingreminded to keep their actual houses secure from burglars, but therest of their property is often forgotten. "Many people haveexpensive items in their gardens, sheds and garages such as gardenfurniture, ornaments and plants, which can be easy prey for patioprowlers. Even the washing on the line can be tempting for somecriminals. "With more people spending money on their gardens, a fewsimple deterrents such as a strong padlock on the garden gate, asecurity light and a decent shed lock will put off all but the mostdetermined of thieves. For extra peace of mind householders shouldalso check that items in the garden are covered by their homeinsurance policy."

Norwich Union's Home and Garden package can beadded to a Home Plus policy. It provides up to £2,500 of cover forre-landscaping your garden if it's vandalised and will replace yourplants if they are stolen.

To help people protect themselves from patioprowlers, Norwich Union's top 3 tips are:

  • Make sure you lock up your shed or garage at night. Open shedsare a tempting sight for opportunist thieves
  • If you have bought lots of expensive plants or shrubs, you maywant to take out a specialist garden policy
  • Never leave bicycles in the open - some policies may limit thelevel of cover for bikes

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Notes to editors

Norwich Union commissioned Taylor Nelson Sofres to conduct anindependent survey of more than 1,000 adults. The survey wascarried out in February 2001.

Norwich Union Insurance is the UK's largest general insurer -insuring one in five households.

CGU plc and Norwich Union plc merged on 30 May 2000 to createCGNU plc, the UK's largest insurance group and one of the top-fiveinsurers in Europe with substantial positions in other marketsaround the world, making it the world's sixth largest insurer basedon gross worldwide premiums.

CGNU's principal business activities are long-term savings, fundmanagement and general insurance, with worldwide premium income andretail investment sales from ongoing business of over £27 billionand assets under management of more than £210 billion.

From October 2000, the combined life and pensions, generalinsurance and retail fund management businesses in the UK operateunder the Norwich Union brand, while the institutional investmentbusiness operates under the Morley Fund Management brand.

For further information or to arrange an interview contactJane Wheeler or Matthew Buchanan at QBO on 020 7379 0304 or LizNicholson at Norwich Union on 08703 666868

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