Gardai launch Summertime Burglary Campaign

There have been some recent break ins to houses and sheds around the Wicklow Area and in the case of houses, cash, jewellery are frequently stolen.  

 With people away on holidays some houses can be more vulnerable than usual – have a neighbour keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report to Gardai.

 In the case of sheds, in many cases bicycles, power tools, ride on lawn mowers, trailers etc have been stolen.

 The following is some crime prevention advice provided by An Garda Síochána

 All householders are asked to review their own security measures to make it is difficult as possible for burglars to break into your property.

 See also list of suggested plants that can look good and can also be used for defensive planting that will help to improve security around  your home and outbuildings.

 Garden/ Landscaping

  1. Don’t help the burglar; safely store away ladders, tools etc.
  2. Use quality locks on Garden sheds, chain valuable property, tools, bikes, etc. within.
  3. Property mark and photograph valuable possessions.
  4. Tidy up gardens and shrubbery, this improves visibility and creates the illusion of an occupied home.
  5. Consider defensive planting, e.g. thorny plants around the perimeter, for extra security.

A barrier of prickly hedge along your boundary or underneath a window will help deter thieves. Hedges and shrubs in the front garden should be kept to a height of no more than 3 feet in order to avoid giving a burglar a screen behind which he can conceal himself.

Defensive Planting

A barrier of prickly hedge along your boundary or underneath a window will help deter thieves. Hedges and shrubs in the front garden should be kept to a height of no more than 3 feet in order to avoid giving a burglar a screen behind which he can conceal himself.

The following plants are those that are known to have thorns, although there are no guarantees that the plant purchased will produce thorns.

  • Creeping Juniper. Juniperis horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ – Also known as ‘Blue Rug’ because it has long branches and its prostrate shape forms a flattened blue carpet. It has a thorny stem and foliage.
  • Blue Spruce. Picea pungens ‘Globosa’ – Rigid branches, irregular dense blue, spiky needles. Height 1-1.25m x 75cm – 1 m. Slow growing. Moist rich soil.
  • Common Holly.Ilex agulfolium – Large evergreen shrub, dark green spiked leaves. Large red berries on female plants only. Any well drained soil. Plant with garden compost and bone-meal.
  • Giant Rhubarb.(Gunnera manicata)- Giant rhubarb-like leaves on erect stems, abrasive foliage. Can grow up to 2.5m high. Plant by water-side for effect.
  • Golden Bamboo. Phyllostachys aurea- Very graceful, forming thick clumps of up to 3.5m high. Less invasive than other bamboos. Hardy. Young shoots in spring
  • Chinese Jujube. Zizyphus sativa – Medium sized tree with very spiny pendulous branches. Leaves glossy bright green. Bears clusters of small yellow flowers.
  • Firethorn. Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ – Flowers white in June, with bright orange-red berries. Thorny stem. Height 10-15ft. Suitable for north or east-facing wall or as impenetrable hedging.
  • Shrub Rose. Rosa ‘Frau Dagmar Hastrup’ – Excellent ground cover, pale pink flowers, very thorny stem. May to September. Plant with garden compost and bone-meal.
  • Pencil Christmas Tree.Picea abias ‘Cupressina’ – Medium-sized tree of columnar habit, with ascending spiky branches. Attractive form with dense growth. Avoid dry chalky soils.
  • Juniper. Juniperus x media ‘Old Gold’ – Evergreen. Golden-tipped foliage. Prickly foliage. Height 2ft. Spread 6ft. Low growing. Excellent ground cover.
  • Purple Berberis. Berberis thunbergil ‘Atropurpurea’- Rich purple foliage. Thorny stem. Medium-sized deciduous. Any soil sunny position.

  • Mountain Pine.Pinus mugo ‘Mughus’- A very hardy, large shrub or small tree, with long sharp needles, of dense, bushy habit. Leaves in pairs, 3 – 4cm long, rigid and curved, dark green, cone.
  • Blue Pine. Picea pungens ‘Hoopsii’- Small to medium-sized tree, spiky needled stem, densely conical habit, with vividly glaucous blue leaves. Likes moist, rich soil.
  • Oleaster. Elaeagnus angustifolia – Small deciduous tree, about 4.5 to 6 m (15 to 20 feet) high. Smooth, dark brown branches that often bear spines and narrow, light green leaves that are silvery on the undersides. The flowers are small, greenish, fragrant, and silvery-scaled on the outside, as are the edible, olive-shaped, yellowish fruits, which are sweet but mealy. Hardy, wind resistant, tolerant of poor, dry sites, and thus useful in windbreak hedges.
  • Blackthorn. Prunus spinosa – Also called Sloe; spiny shrub. Usually grows less than 3.6 meters (12 feet) tall and has numerous, small leaves. Its dense growth makes it suitable for hedges. White flowers. Bluish-black fruit is used to flavour sloe gin.
  • Fuschia-flowered Gooseberry. Ribes speciosum – Fruit bush, spiny, produces greenish to greenish-pink flowers in clusters of two or three. Extremely hardy, thrive in moist, heavy clay soil in cool, humid climate.

In addition, the following thorny plants can also be considered:

Aralia, Chaenomeles, Colletia, Crataegus (including hawthorn/may), Hippophae (sea buckthorn), Maclura, Mahonia, Oplopanax, Osmanthus, Poncirus, Rhamnus, Rosa (climbing & shrub roses), Rubus (bramble), Smilax Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum)

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