While crime rates may have declined over the last decade, there’s no room for complacency with an estimated 11 per cent – more than one million Australians – reporting a household crime during 2017-2018; break-ins, attempted break-ins, motor vehicle theft, theft from a motor vehicle and malicious property damage were the most commonly cited offences.
If we take a closer look at the cyclical trends around crime, a study shows there are spikes during the summer months. There are a number of reasons why this may be the case; warmer weather encourages people to spend time outside, giving thieves more opportunities to strike. It’s also a traditional holiday period with more homes left unoccupied for longer periods of time.
With summer fast approaching, now is an ideal time to evaluate your home security, which should include reviewing your household’s daily movements and putting appropriate security plans in place before the holiday season gets into full swing.
Address home security gaps
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2.5 per cent of households experienced a break-in and 2.2 per cent experienced an attempted break-in during 2017-18. To help reduce the risk of your home becoming a target for thieves, address security weaknesses around your home.
Walk around the property, inside and out, looking for things like broken window locks or gaps in the fence and fix them as a matter of urgency. Consider installing additional deterrents such as motion sensor lighting, which can startle would-be burglars, or security cameras, which can provide visual verification of an incident. Interactive security systems like ADT Automated Security can also be a valuable investment to help you keep an eye on your home in real-time while you’re not there.
Don’t become complacent
While most of us are guilty of leaving a window or door unlocked on the odd occasion, doing so on a regular basis is a serious home security risk. Remember, leaving doors and windows unlocked is an open invitation for burglars. Likewise, don’t hide spare keys in obvious places outside the home. Thieves know to look in mailboxes, under doormats and above doorways for keys so it’s not worth putting your home at risk – it’s much safer to leave a key with a trusted neighbour or friend. As we head into the summer months, it’s easy to become complacent about security so be aware of crime reports in your local area. Join a neighbourhood Facebook group and read the local newspaper to help keep you informed of what’s happening around your area and alert you to emerging crime risks.
Be wary of motor vehicle theft
It is expected that your cars are safe when parked at home whether in the garage or on the driveway – just as all your belongings should be. Yet in 2017-2018, there were 54,500 households that reported a motor vehicle theft from their home. Due to car immobiliser systems making car theft more difficult, thieves will often go to extraordinary lengths to steal car keys, including breaking into a home.
If a burglar does manage to gain access to the home, they are more than likely looking to steal more than just the car keys with wallets, handbags, electronic devices and jewellery a few of their most sought-after items. Car theft can be even worse if you’re away on holidays, as you may not know about the theft until you get back, by which time your car will be long gone and therefore harder to recover.
While summer can lead to an increase in household crime, there are measures you can take to ensure you don’t become a statistic. Always remember to lock your doors and windows, even if you’re at home, and keep your car keys out of sight rather than on the kitchen benchtop. Finally, if you have a monitored home security system installed, don’t forget to use it! It’s surprising how many homeowners fail to turn it on when running out the door, giving an optimistic burglar a perfect window of opportunity.
If you’re interested in investing in a home security system, or upgrading your existing one, get in contact with an ADT Security professional today.