home security index www.aami.com.au
One in ten Australians One in five people don’t
has experienced warn their neighbours after
home intrusion experiencing a burglary
This is the eighth annual AAMI Home Security Index, • Adelaide/regional • Coffs Harbour & • North Queensland
formerly published as the AAMI Car and Home Security South Australia Port Macquarie • Sunshine Coast
Index. It is published to inform and educate the community • Ballarat, Bendigo & • Dubbo • Sydney
about trends in home crime and security. The Index is Shepparton • Geelong • Toowoomba/
based on data collected from two sources: an independent • Batemans Bay, • Gold Coast Darling Downs
survey of more than 2400 Australian adults and an in-depth Bega & Ulladulla • Hobart • Wagga Wagga &
analysis of insurance claims lodged in 2004 by AAMI • Brisbane • Launceston Griffith
policyholders in the Australian Capital Territory, New South • Canberra • Woollongong & Nowra
Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria..
• Central Queensland • Newcastle & Gosford
The survey was conducted in the following areas:
Intruders become ACCORDING TO into. Nationally, of those who have garden did so, compared with 83 per cent of
more brazen AAMI’S CLAIMS shed, half (52 per cent) admit it is not as those aged 35 and older.
STATISTICS secure as it should be.
One in ten Australians (11 per cent), FOR 2004,
has personal experience of home BURGLARIES Some forget basic security
intrusion – where a thief has broken in WERE MOST Neighbours not warned of crime
while they were at home. COMMON ON Despite the knowledge that most theft
FRIDAYS. One in five people (21 per cent) did not is opportunistic, some people still forget
Of the people who experienced home warn their neighbours that a thief was at to attend to basic security around
intrusion, half (49 per cent) became work in the area after the burglary their homes.
aware that the intruder was on the occurred. People in New South Wales
property. Of those who became aware of One-third of Australians (36 per cent)
were most likely to warn their neighbours
the intruder, 68 per cent confronted admitted they had been known to leave
(88 per cent did so) and Victorians were
them, and in one-quarter of these their front or back door open when they
least likely (69 per cent).
situations (24 per cent), violence ensued. probably should not. This was least
Homeowners were more likely to warn common in Victoria (31 per cent) and the
neighbours after a break-in than renters Australian Capital Territory (25 per cent).
Common times for theft (83 per cent did compared with 63 per Most of those who had no security
According to AAMI’s claims statistics for cent). The likelihood of communicating features at all in the home, such as
2004, burglaries were most common on with neighbours about theft increased deadlocks, window locks or alarms, left
Fridays (more than 16 per cent) between with age – 62 per cent of 18-34-year-olds their doors open (59 per cent).
the hours of 8 am and 12 pm. The most
common month for burglary was
December, where more than 11 per cent
of all claims were reported. KEY FINDINGS
■ Four in ten Australians (38 per cent) has experienced a break-in at some
point in their lives.
Burglary a common experience
■ One in ten Australians (11 per cent) has been burgled while someone
Many Australians (38 per cent) have
was at home.
experienced a burglary at some point
in their lives. ■ Almost half of Australians (44 per cent) do not investigate or call the
police when they hear a home alarm.1
People who live in metropolitan areas
were far more likely to experience a ■ One in seven Australians (14 per cent) say they have no home or
burglary than people in regional areas contents-related insurance to protect their home and possessions.
(43 per cent compared with 29 per ■ One in ten people (10 per cent) do not have any security at all in their
cent in regional areas). home, such as deadlocks, window locks, alarms, security grills or safes.
One in 20 people (5 per cent) who ■ One in 20 Australians (5 per cent) do not take any security measures to
have a garden shed have had it broken protect their home when they go on holiday.2
into. This crime occurred most often in
■ One in five people (21 per cent) don’t warn their neighbours about thieves
South Australia, where ten per cent of
in the area after they’ve been burgled.
people said their shed had been broken
One-third of people with deadlocks a break-in when they go on holidays NINE IN TEN invested in more sophisticated security
(34 per cent) said these locks were not compared with those who have not PEOPLE (88 PER measures such as video surveillance,
always activated when they should be. A (44 per cent compared with 34 per cent). CENT) BELIEVE A card access or security patrols.
similar proportion of those with window BARKING DOG IS Tasmanians were least likely to have this
Most Australians (95 per cent) take some
locks (38 per cent) said their locks were GOOD DETERRENT extra security (8 per cent) and people in
kind of security precaution when leaving TO THIEVES.
not always activated when they should New South Wales were most likely (18
their home for an extended period of time.
be. People who have experienced a per cent). Newer homes were also more
Most people (85 per cent) ask a friend or
burglary at their current home were more likely to have these features – 24 per
neighbour to keep an eye on their home or
likely to be vigilant with home security – cent of homes aged less than 10 years
collect their mail. Four in ten (41 per cent)
27 per cent who have experienced a had these and just 11 per cent of homes
leave a light on in the house and one-third
burglary at their current home said their (33 per cent) leave devices on timers, aged 21 years or more had them.
locks are not always used compared with such as a sprinkler or lights. A similar Just over half (52 per cent) of people
41 per cent who had not experienced a proportion (35 per cent) tries to arrange a who do not have any of these
burglary at their current home. house sitter. Three in ten people (28 per sophisticated security measures would
Four in ten people with home alarms (42 cent) activate an alarm system. consider at least one of them if they
per cent) said they sometimes go out When asked which of the above measures received a discount on their insurance
without turning on their alarm. This were most effective, generally, people felt as a result.
number was lower among people who that a human presence was the best
had experienced a burglary at their deterrent to thieves. One-third (35 per
current home – of them, one-third (33 cent) felt that asking someone to keep an
Two in ten not insured
per cent) said they sometimes go out eye on their home or collect their mail was
without turning the alarm on. the most effective deterrent to being Eight in ten (81 per cent) Australians
burgled. As popular was arranging a reported that they had contents
house sitter (34 per cent). insurance in case of theft from their
home. Homeowners are far more likely
Almost half of Australians (44 per cent) to have home insurance – 92 per cent of
said they do not investigate or call the Securing our homes
home owners said they had home
police when they hear a home alarm. One in ten Australians (10 per cent) has no insurance compared with just 52 per
Just 21 per cent of people believed an security features in their home at all. Many cent of renters.
alarm was the most effective security people, however, had more than one
Fourteen per cent of Australians has no
measure to protect their home when they security feature. Seven in ten (71 per cent)
insurance for their belongings.
go away on holidays. had deadlocked external doors, 64 per
cent had window locks and 29 per cent
had an alarm system. People in regional Many keep records
Holiday anxiety areas were twice as likely not to have any of belongings
One-third of Australians (35 per cent) are security in their home when compared
apprehensive about going on holidays in with those in metropolitan areas. Most people had at least one measure in
case they are burgled while they are place to assist them in making an
away. Not surprisingly, people who have insurance claim if their home was burgled.
been burgled at their current address are
Incentives for extra security Half (47 per cent) had a list of
more likely to say they are anxious about One in seven people (15 per cent) have possessions and their approximate value.
Home burglaries per 1000 policies – 2004 How thieves get in
13.96 15.46 11.98 19.41 13.45 11.37 18.93
No sign of entry 12%
National Queensland NSW ACT Victoria Tasmania South Garage Door 22%
Australia Other 1%
Source: AAMI Claims data 2004 (no statistics available for Northern Territory)
The impact of home intrusion on victims
Home intrusions receive a lot of Being a victim of crime affects bedroom, and this can become a
media attention. Fortunately, they people in different ways. While long-term problem. VICTIMS OF CRIME
are not common, but when they every person’s reaction to crime is The financial burden of home SUPPORT SERVICES
do take place they can leave a unique, it is not unusual for people intrusion extends beyond the A person does not have to
victim feeling devastated and who have experienced a home loss and damage to property. suffer a physical injury to be
violated. The crime can destroy a intrusion to feel shocked, fearful, Victims sometimes need a victim of crime. Injuries can
person’s trust in others and angry, depressed or anxious. therapeutic treatment, also be psychological and
blacken their view of the local Some victims may experience counselling, and in extreme emotional.
community and society in difficulty sleeping; nightmares; cases, pharmacological Support services are
general. Home intrusions fracture obtrusive mental flashbacks; intervention. Some may be available to victims in each
the sanctity of the home on a emotional withdrawal and unable to work for a period. state and territory, offering
deep level, causing victims to feel coldness; relationship difficulties;
While the reactions described both emotional support and
unsafe and constantly aware of and anger management problems.
above are a natural and normal practical advice about the
danger in their own environment. Some victims report being
part of the process of dealing with Justice system.
In many cases, occupants are left alarmed by any small sound or
a traumatic event, in most cases Some victims may benefit
with a deep-seated fear that the vibration in their home. they are temporary. With support from counselling to help them
offender will return. Children are particularly from family, friends and through the recovery process
Victims of home intrusion often susceptible to the psychological colleagues, most people recover and staff can assist victims in
describe the trauma of being effects of home intrusion. Many from the effects of crime within a contacting the most
powerless, and feeling vulnerable children develop a phobia of being few months. For other people, the appropriate support agency
and frightened that they will be in a room alone. Children who recovery process is more difficult. to meet their needs.
injured or killed. For some, the were previously confident and Prepared by the Victims Support New South Wales
worst aspect is the uncertainty outgoing can become insecure Agency, part of the Victorian Victims Support Line
of the crime — not knowing how and clingy. Some children are only State Government’s Department 1800 633063
far the offender will go. able to sleep in their parents’ of Justice. Victoria
Victims of Crime Helpline
Victims Counselling and
TEN TIPS FOR SECURING YOUR HOME AND BELONGINGS Support Service
1. Remember the basics – it’s no good installing 6. Don’t leave doors or windows wide open for
locks and then not using them. long periods even while you’re at home.
Victim Support Service
2. Make sure everyone in your home is equally 7. Don’t leave car keys and wallets beside open 1800 182368
security conscious. Have a routine that windows or doors. Tasmania
everyone follows to check locks and switch on 8. Engage deadlocks when you leave the house Victims of Crime Support
alarms when the house is left unoccupied. so that thieves cannot carry items out through 1300 300238
3. Tell your neighbours if your home is broken into your main doors. ACT
– then they can remember to be extra careful 9. If you can’t arrange for someone to pick up Victim Services Scheme
and report any suspicious people to police. your mail every day when you’re on holiday, 1800 822 272
4. Don’t assume balcony doors or high windows ask the post office to hold it until you return. Western Australia
Victim Support Service
are safe to leave unlocked – thieves are good Also, attach a ‘no advertising material’ sign to
08 9425 2850
at finding ways to overcome these obstacles. your letterbox so it doesn’t overflow.
5. Pack easy-to-carry, expensive items such as 10. Lock up your meter box to prevent thieves Victims of Crime NT
laptops, iPods and jewellery away and out of tampering with your power supply. (previously VOCAL)
sight so thieves can’t see them. 1800 672242
The AAMI Home Security Index is prepared with the statistically valid sample* of 2400 Australian adults in period. Also, smaller or unreported incidents may be
help of a nationally recognised independent research major population centres and regions across Australia. captured in AAMI’s research and not by others.
company Sweeney Research, which ensures the Except where stated, the survey explores respondents’ *The confidence interval for this sample size is plus or minus
validity of the survey methodology and findings. The experiences of home burglaries over their lifetime. 2 percent, which means that for the survey sample of 2400,
if the observed percentage result is 50 per cent, the chances
study is based upon a national telephone survey AAMI’s research may differ from government and are 95 in 100 that the range – 48-52 per cent – includes the
conducted in 2005 using a representative and police sources, which typically examine a 12-month true percentage for the total Australian population.
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