Shed Thefts: Where Has the Most Shed Break-ins in Britain?

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They say an Englishman’s home is his castle, well, we know that a shed owner’s shed is their castle. As well as being our pride and joy, our sheds are the place where we also store a lot of our possessions, whether it’s the home for your BBQ, lawnmower and other equipment, or you’ve converted your shed into an extra living area or office. With this in mind, your garden shed can be a prime target for thieves.

We recently put in a Freedom of Information request with each of the police forces across the UK, asking them how many shed break-ins they had in their area during 2021, as well as some of the most expensive items stolen.


Our Request

We submitted Freedom of Information requests to 42 police forces across England, Scotland and Wales. Of these forces, 22 replied to us with their shed theft statistics, enabling us to paint a broad picture of where the most shed break-ins occurred across the country. We wanted to find out this information to help raise shed owners’ awareness of the potential for their shed to be broken into, encouraging them to make their own sheds as safe and secure as possible.


Where Do the Most Break-ins Occur?

The results from our Freedom of Information request painted a picture of big differences between the number of thefts in certain areas. The highest area in the country was that covered by the Metropolitan Police, where 2075 shed break-ins were recorded over the course of 2021. This area consists of 32 boroughs within Greater London, excluding the City of London.

There was an average of 429 shed break-ins in each area of the UK, meaning the Metropolitan Police area experienced a number well above average. The same could be said for the areas included in Hertfordshire Police and Cambridgeshire Police Forces’ jurisdiction, which came second and third highest with 833 and 818 shed break-ins respectively.

On the other end of the scale, the much more rural North Yorkshire Police jurisdiction had the lowest number of shed break-ins during 2021, with just 12 recorded. Merseyside Police came second lowest with 33 and Bedfordshire Police just above that with 51. The full results can be seen on the graphic below:



Counting the Costs of Shed Theft

The number of shed break-ins is one thing, but we also wanted to look into the value of the items stolen from sheds and what people store in their garden buildings that are at risk of being stolen if not secured correctly.

The most expensive item reported to us was a tractor valued at £28,000 which was stolen within the area of Cambridgeshire Police. In this area, police also had to deal with a £15,000 penny farthing being taken from a shed.

In Kent, £23,000 worth of mountain bikes were taken during one shed break-in, as well as a £15,000 pedigree dog and £800 of champagne. This goes to show the varied uses and items stored within sheds across the country, not the mention the cost that a shed break-in can have for the owners.

Here are some of the biggest value items reporting to us:


KentMountain Bikes£23,000
CambridgeshirePenny Farthing£15,000
KentPedigree Dog£15,000
CumbriaElectric Bikes£12,600
NorthamptonshireGaming Machine£10,000



Avoiding Shed Break-ins

As our research shows, shed break-ins are commonplace across the country and are something that all shed owners should be wary of. But what can you do to deter thieves and ensure you don’t become a police statistic?

Whether you’re looking to secure a bike shed, a potting shed or any other garden building, there are some rules that are worth remembering:

  1. Lock the doors

This might seem obvious, but keeping your shed locked is an important step in avoiding a break-in. Thieves are most likely to be put off if they can’t gain easy access to your property, so adding a secure lock and making sure it’s used when the shed isn’t in use is a good start.

  1. Install an alarm

If you have electricity in your shed and valuable items inside, having an alarm installed is a great way to stop thieves. Not only is an alarm a deterrent to those looking from the outside, if someone does try to access your shed and activate the alarm, it’ll make all the difference.

  1. Keep valuables in the house

As we saw from our research, some very expensive and potentially meaningful items were stolen from sheds. One way to avoid this is to simply keep those types of items within your home. If you don’t have high-security locks or electricity for an alarm, it’s sometimes not worth taking your chances and leaving them vulnerable to thieves.

  1. Use security lights

Another great deterrent for those with electricity in their shed is to have motion sensor security lights fitted. Once a would-be thief activates the lights, chances are they’ll make themselves scarce and leave your property alone. Even if they don’t there’s a higher probability of them being disturbed.


The last thing anyone wants is for their property to be broken into, but looking at our research statistics, it’s still a relatively common occurrence across the country. We’d always recommend taking whatever steps you possibly can to keep the chances of theft at bay, or if you’re really looking to create a more secure space in your garden, investing in a security shed that’s built with extra features to keep your possessions safe.