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Gnome theft auto – surprisingly high rates of theft for garden gnomes

Gnome theft auto – surprisingly high rates of theft for garden gnomes

Are you a secret garden gnome-fancier? Do like the ones pushing wheelbarrows and smoking pipes, or those cheekily baring their bums and peeing on plants?

We’ve all got our favourites, haven’t we? Haven’t we?! Come on, don’t be so grumpy.


Brits still love garden gnomes, some too much…

According to the latest research from insurer Policy Expert, the current most favoured ‘novelty’ celebrity gnomes include the TV presenters Ant and Dec and the rather appropriately named Alan Titchmarsh.

The problem, as Policy Expert’s figures indicate, is that the little fellows are so dear to the nation’s heart some people are willing to break the law to get their hands on one.

Almost a million Brits say they’ve had a gnome stolen or damaged, but just over a quarter (26%) would be too embarrassed to tell the police.


Are gnomes cheery, or downright scary?!

Around one-in-six (16%) own a garden gnome, and getting on for one-in-ten admit (8%) to having more than one.

The majority of us find gnomes amusing, with just over half (53%) saying that simply seeing a ‘cheeky’ little gnome when they’re out and about cheers them up.

However, not everyone’s quite so taken with them, and some find them downright frightening!

Just over one-in-ten (11%) are annoyed by garden gnomes, and almost the same number finding them weird and unnerving.

Amazingly, ornamental gnomes elicit some seriously strong emotions in people. A large minority (3%) say they find them genuinely scary, while, perhaps most peculiarly, a similar number (2%) actually have the urge to steal them when they see them.


Gnomes robbed, attacked and broken

This last statistic might explain why almost a million households (3%) report that someone has taken their gnome, or attacked and broken it, at some point in the past.

Perhaps fortunately for our over-stretched constabulary, only one-in-ten (10%) indicate they would report a gnome-theft to the police. More than a quarter wouldn’t, however, as they believe, probably correctly, that the police wouldn’t take it seriously.


Popular celebrity gnomes

When asked which celebrity ‘novelty’ gnomes householders would most like to have in their garden, the favourites are Ant and Dec (23%).

Donald is currently next most popular- Trump that is, not the duck – for almost one-in-six (16%).

Alan Titchmarsh makes an appropriate appearance, as he is at least an actual horticulturalist, in third (14%).

Other popular choices include Prince Harry, Beyoncé and David Beckham, as well as Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.



Policy Expert

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 19th June 2018