Anti-theft DIY - right or wrong?

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 Morty 03 Aug 2022

When I got home today I had the impression someone had been poking about around our shed and garden.

I set up a few noisy tripwires and a couple of basic deadfall traps.  One of the deadfall traps could have caused, worst case scenario, a blinding in an eye or a few facial lacerations. 

My wife said I was mental and that I should disarm them.  

I met her half way and disabled the deadfall traps. 

We have an alarm in the shed anyway but I thought this would be more of a belt and braces approach. 

My question is - is my wife right? 

 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2022
In reply to Morty:

How would you feel about blinding one of your neighbours 10 year old kids and then getting arrested?

OP Morty 03 Aug 2022
In reply to Stichtplate:

I would feel awful.

Would they be in my garden at 2am though?

Edit: I can see this is a really good point - I'd not thought about it like that. 

Post edited at 22:35
 Jenny C 03 Aug 2022
In reply to Morty:

Things to make noise are fine, or even something to impose minor pain/discomfort to someone prying.

Anything that could warrant needing hospital treatment (or worse still permanent disability) would be totally unacceptable and im sure illegal.

 wintertree 03 Aug 2022
In reply to Morty:

> Would they be in my garden at 2am though?

Do you have fruit trees?  My youth was occasionally misspent over amazing fruit trees that weren’t harvested.  It’s not the barking of the dogs that’s scary, but when they go silent… If you’re capable enough to rig traps, you could instead secure the shed and use CCTV to figure out what’s going on, and go to the police with evidence if it’s more than a hungry fox.  

If someone is up to no good, this saves on NHS costs, makes a material difference to the likelihood of you going to prison, and means you know what’s been going on rather than taking a wild guess.  Just think - your sense of what has just happened could be wrong and could be blinding you to some other solvable problem.

 Forest Dump 03 Aug 2022
In reply to Morty:

It wasn't that unusual back in the day to see jagged glass set in to the top of walls, which I gather is probably illegal. Still see the odd bit in rougher places..

I'm not that sure what the difference is between that and barbed / razor wire or those anti climb fences with the sharp pointy bits on top

Drop pits full of sharpened bamboo a la Vietnam War movies or flying projectiles probably taking it too far!

In reply to Morty:

Yeah, I'm with your wife and Stichtplate - I can remember sneaking into neighbours' gardens on the odd occasion as a kid/teenager; sometimes to get a ball, sometimes just because adolescents are bloody daft. Even if you did have a more sinister intruder, it'd be awful if a kid was seriously injured as collateral damage.

 The Lemming 03 Aug 2022
In reply to Morty:

I'd be careful, as people have rights if they get injured on your property, irrespective of what they were up to. You could end up with a serious criminal offence.

I have a security camera and a door bell hooked up to a recording device, which they call a HomeBase which is a 16Gb storage device attached to your router.

The blurb says that the camera can be stand-alone and record to your phone or tablet. Excellent quality. However I have it recording to the HomeBase along with my doorbell.  Unfortunately both cameras only record in 20 second bursts of footage. Image quality is excellent.

The best bit is no monthly fees to activate features that should come as standard for cameras and doorbells. If you are not aware, you'd be shocked at how many diy home security cameras and doorbells have a monthly subscription model for features that are essential to the purpose that you bought them for and if you don't pay monthly then you have expensive paperweights doing nothing.

Post edited at 23:39
 henwardian 03 Aug 2022
In reply to Morty:

Your wife is entirely right.

Legally speaking.

The reason you don't see broken-glass-topped walls, and have not for many years now, is that legislation was enacted to basically make it so the owner of a property would be held responsible for injuries caused by defenses which damage people physically. There are a few low-level exceptions, I don't know exactly where the bar lies but things like having barbed wire on the top of a wire fence is fine but having razer wire is not.

So irrespective of how you feel on the topic, you would be very foolish not to remove these traps.

 LastBoyScout 03 Aug 2022
In reply to Morty:

After a mate of mine had his garage broken into for the second time, one of the police officers recommended putting carpet gripper rail around the top of the fences - you can apparently claim it's to keep cats out.

Personally, I'd just install a couple of PIR spotlights and a camera.

In reply to Morty:

Well, whatever you end up doing, having posted a statement of intent and potential consequences will be a big help for the prosecutor if someone loses an eye.

Maybe buy yourself a raspberry pi zero-w and some IR LEDs and put your energy into setting up.

In reply to Morty:

You sound utterly mental.

 ExiledScot 04 Aug 2022
In reply to Morty:

Noise and light is what they hate. Gravel paths not paving slabs, pir lighting etc...

My workshop and n+1 bike store has armoured mesh on inside of windows(concrete reinforcing steel), a decent lock protected by a cover so it can't be cut easily, which holds an angle iron bar that comes down across whole door. Inside the door with just enough slack to unhook it i have clipped a length of rope with a collection of metal jangling bits and scrap which is very noisy if you pull the door open. Then finally if inside i have another stand alone pir alarm on the wall aimed at the door, which takes 3 or 4 secs before kicking off. I've marked everything valuable with smart water and have their signs up too. Door locks, hinges and windows don't screw on from the outside either so can't be undone. Finally a remote camera (stand alone wildlife type) hidden in the garden, with a camera sticker on the workshop window suggesting there are cameras. 

Granted I've made it look worth getting into, but they'll have to work for it and take bigger risk than most other places. Plus we have a dog. 

Post edited at 07:15
OP Morty 04 Aug 2022
In reply to all:

Thanks for the feedback folks.  I've just ordered some CCTV kit - so it's going to be a bit more of a Big Brother approach rather than the Home Alone one.   

 ExiledScot 04 Aug 2022
In reply to Morty:

It's an unfortunate position, but you need to make yours look like a pain and your neighbours property softer targets. It's a sad world at times. Do you have anything resembling neighbour watch, try and deter theives from your area entirely. 

In reply to MG:

This reply cracked me up. 

In reply to Morty:

Ignore all the above. If your intruder looks like this shifty character, you need to radically up the ante and order feathers, glue, fans, irons and a zip wire. And a tarantula. 

 yorkshire_lad2 05 Aug 2022
In reply to Morty:

If you go down the CCTV route, try to make sure that it only records your land/property, or you have to consider Data Protection / GDPR.


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