Research by Centrica Hive – the smart home section of the utilities giant – has revealed that four in ten homeowners have had items stolen from their gardens, with gnomes, bikes and plant pots topping the list of stolen items.

Those who had been robbed reported an average of three items being stolen, including tools, lights and furniture. The company launched a PR stunt of staging a protest of gnomes outside London’s city hall to draw attention to the findings that included a third of homeowners feeling garden theft has risen in the last ten years. Six in ten of the 2000 respondents say they worry about their home when they are out.

Tom Guy, global product director at Centrica Hive, said: “Our research reveals a significant number of people have experienced theft or damage to possessions outside their home, with everything from bicycles to garden tools to plants being targeted.

“Sadly, even the much beloved gnome is under threat. With the arrival of smart security, such as our Hive View Outdoor, homeowners can now get greater peace of mind in knowing they can easily protect their property and be quickly alerted if their home, or their gnome, is getting any unwanted attention.”

Another step homeowners can take to give themselves greater protection and reduce such concerns is to consider home insurance, especially policies that also cover items outside the home. 

At Emerald our two most basic levels of cover include up to £500 contents cover for theft from your garden while our Premier level extends this to £5000.