No matter where you live, everyone has the right to feel safe in their home. However, the reality is that a burglary occurs every three minutes in Australia, which is why it’s important to be aware of criminal activity in your local area.
While the number of break-ins has been declining in recent years, some criminals will specifically target a suburb which may involve break-ins into multiple properties over a short period of time.
You may also be surprised to know that it’s not only luxury goods that they’re looking to steal. New statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, show that nearly 29 per cent of all robberies between 2017 and 2018 included theft of ID, passports and other personal items, revealing that burglars are not just after your possessions but your identity too. While audio visual equipment, such as televisions and stereos, were traditional targets for thieves, these bulky items now only account for six per cent of stolen goods from a break-in.
Keeping informed about crime in your neighbourhood remains important to protect your home from thieves. So, how exactly how can you do this?
Join your community’s online forum
Many areas have a dedicated community page on Facebook that connects people living in their local area. Websites such as Nextdoor provide a private social network designed to connect neighbours. These types of sites, and similar closed groups on Facebook, are a great way to quickly get the word out to local residents about a break-in, letterbox theft or other suspicious activity.
Join the Neighbourhood Watch programme
Similarly, Neighbourhood Watch has been a trusted organisation since 1983 and helps to keep on top of crime activity in your local area. Neighbourhood Watch is focused on the prevention and detection of crime in your local area and fosters good citizenship by encouraging neighbours to work together to prevent crime and increase community safety. It also offers a resource section on its website and features a community messages page with videos that show you how to stay safe in different scenarios. To find a Neighbourhood Watch group near you, or establish one in your area, click here.
Research a suburb before you move
Before buying a home, spend some time looking at information about your target suburb, including local crime reports. Every state and territory police force publish regular crime data and updates on its website. Local area commands may also have social media feeds to follow, which can reveal more localised information. This allows you to compare trends between different suburbs or time periods. Often there will be interactive maps that reveal what type of crimes have occurred in specific areas including where, and how often.
There will always be opportunistic thieves looking to take advantage of homes which they consider to be an easy target. The downward trend in break-ins across Australia is immensely encouraging but this doesn’t mean you should become complacent. Proactively keeping informed about crime in your local area will help you to be better prepared for any criminal activity that does affect your community.