A COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE lock burglars out! It always happens to someone else BURGLARY IS EVERYONE’S PROBLEM – A HOUSEHOLDER’S GUIDE TO REDUCING RISK IT ALWAYS HAPPENS TO HOUSEHOLDERS’ CHECKLIST — Household burglary is one of the most prevalent of crimes. It is becoming so commonplace that almost SOMEONE ELSE 13 SIMPLE STRATEGIES TO everyone knows someone whose home has been broken into. It may be a sign of the times, but it is not a Household burglary, the bane of contemporary FOIL A BURGLAR reason for cynicism or complacency. This all-too-common blight on our sense of community is everyone’s suburban life. Everyone knows it happens, and There are many strategies householders can problem. We know that many home break-ins are preventable. What many people don’t realise is that there how often it happens, but until it happens to engage to reduce the risk of becoming a victim, is so much more we can do as individuals to protect ourselves, our homes, our families and our neighbours. you, it’s hard to imagine what you’ll do. If it does starting with the first line of defence - a There are many strategies for foiling burglars. The Commonwealth Government, through the National Crime happen, it can wreak havoc – financial, physical security-conscious state of mind. Prevention Programme, is committed to finding solutions to community crime problems such as burglary. or psychological. Yet many people don’t take This booklet provides useful information about how to keep your home safe and burglars out. Whether or Security-conscious householders think about their security seriously until it is threatened. not you’ve been a victim, I strongly urge all householders to familiarise themselves with these strategies security as a matter of course, not only when They take risks, assuming that it will happen and wherever practicable to engage them. Prevention is still the best protection - for all of us. locking up the family home to go on holidays, in the next street, or the house next door, that but as an integral part of daily living; it’s the it always happens to someone else first. psychological key to ensuring maximum Does this description fit you? physical security. DO YOU: It isn’t necessary to convert your home into a Senator Chris Ellison Leave doors and windows open when fortress. It is necessary to accept that in a fast- you leave the house? changing world, lifestyles change, and security- Minister for Justice and Customs Senator for Western Australia Leave side gates and garden sheds unlocked? consciousness is now an unwanted but essential Hide keys outside, under a mat, on part of contemporary Australian life - as it is in a ledge, under a flowerpot? most other countries of the developed world. Leave valuables unprotected and There are many strategies we can adopt, to visible to strangers? ensure our houses and communities are Leave cars unlocked in the driveway? more secure, and to keep our sense of Keep large amounts of cash at home? neighbourliness and community intact. If so, you are taking risks that might very easily be avoided - with foresight, a little knowledge, and a few simple precautions. Here is a 13-point checklist to reduce If you take the right precautions you will make the risk of home burglaries: even the most dedicated burglar’s life a nightmare 1. Always lock up. Don’t overlook the obvious. 5. Secure all windows. No windows are too 11. Padlock garden sheds and garages. Sheds driveway occasionally. Cancel all deliveries. Doors and windows should be locked, not high or too small for burglars. All windows and garages are usually the repository Lock away the wheelie bin. (Thieves like only when we leave the house, but when should be secured with keyed locks or of tools and other implements burglars wheelies to wheel away their loot.) Turn the we are elsewhere in the house, on the security grills. Do not resort to a piece of use to assist in a break-in. Keep them volume down on your answering machine. phone, in the garden, or otherwise dowel in the window track, and lock all padlocked. If there is a connecting door Replace any ageing locks with deadlocks. preoccupied, away from points of entry. upper-level windows, they are easier to between the garage and your house, reach than you think. 13. Prepare for an emergency. Ensure your 2. Cut away the camouflage. Cultivate ensure it is always locked. house number is clearly visible. If you have a garden, but not a burglars’ paradise. 6. Light up at night. Keep doors, windows, 12. Plan ahead for absences or holidays. An to call police or other emergency services, Burglars love camouflage. Site trees, and pathways well-lit at night. Movement- empty house invites burglars. Never leave they should be able to find your house shrubs, walls and fences so an intruder activated sensor lights are highly your house obviously unoccupied, even quickly. Programme telephone numbers for can be clearly seen in your front or back recommended. briefly. Install timer devices that turn lights emergency services, close friends, relatives yard, and keep bushes around doors and and radios on and off at night, and outside or neighbours into your telephone’s memory 7. Lock the side gates. Side gates are windows trimmed. sensors that are movement-activated. so that in a state of emergency you can easily overlooked. They should also 3. Deadlock the main door. The main door be securely locked, and children and Arrange for neighbours or friends to clear summon assistance quickly. is the most likely point of entry and should grandchildren educated to always out your letterbox and park a car in your be your first priority. A key-operated lock the gates behind them. deadlock on a solid timber door is the 8. Co-opt a canine. Consider keeping a dog. safest option. If intruders get into your Even if you don’t own one, think about house through another entry, a key- hanging a ‘beware of the dog’ sign at any operated deadlock on the main door will outside gates. If burglars are casing the make it more difficult for them to carry place, the prospect of a burglar-unfriendly stolen goods out. Reinforce the deadlock dog can be good enough reason for many wherever possible with a security screen, to beat a retreat. and a peephole, so you get to see any visitors before they see you. 9. Install burglar alarms. The best alarms 9 to complement other forms of household 6 4. Synchronise door locks. Install the same 12 11 security are highly visible, audible, back-to- 4 5 1 3 key-operated lock system on all other base alarms linked to a security service that 10 doors - it makes locking up and owner- monitors and responds to their call. 8 entry easier. Security firms can install 2 13 7 tamper-proof locks. Sliding glass doors 10. Lock up the meter box. Locking up your are particularly vulnerable and should be meter box prevents thieves interfering with bolted top and bottom or fitted with your power supply or security sensor light a specifically designed deadlock. system. (Consult electricity authorities or local councils for further information.) Remember to keep a list of all your valuable items… Just in case! A few facts about home burglars It’s important for identifying missing pieces should you be robbed Did you know that… They’re usually not shy. They’ll not only walk right PROTECTING YOUR PROPERTY Mark your Property in if the door’s open, many of them don’t really Most home burglars are spur-of-the-moment Think about what you might do to make it It is harder for thieves to sell property mind if you’re happily pottering around somewhere opportunists? They just see an opportunity and harder for a thief to find and sell your valuable with personal identification, and if police else in the house - while they help themselves. take it. In 16 per cent of home burglaries belongings. List all your valuable items - recover marked property, it’s easier to claim According to statistics compiled by the NRMA in reported to police*, burglars entered through an remembering anything small, valuable and your items. You can mark your goods with New South Wales, more than 30 per cent of home unlocked door or window. easily moved is fair game for burglars. If you an ultraviolet pen or have them engraved. burglaries happen when someone is at home. (*Victorian Department of Justice; NRMA, NSW) are unfortunate enough to be robbed, having Your local police or Neighbourhood Watch They’re not keen on other people’s dogs. a list will enable you to identify what is missing group may help you with this. Most home burglars are not collectors. They don’t According to recent research in the Australian and assist police by giving a full description want to own or keep your goods. They just want Photograph small valuable items (eg antiques, Capital Territory, burglars prefer not to encounter of the missing property. to take as much out of your house as they can watches or jewellery) for easy identification, dogs in the houses they’re breaking into; in fact and sell it as fast as they can, for as much money using a matchbox or ruler in the photograph to 75 per cent of burglars questioned in an ACT as they can get. survey in 1999 said the presence of a dog Property list give an idea of size. Always keep photographs, negatives and credit card dockets or receipts Their primary targets are expensive items that are “puts them off” breaking into a house. RECORD DETAILS OF EACH ITEM. WRITE DOWN with your property list to help with identification highly portable and easy to dispose of - like make and insurance claims. television or VCR sets, lap-top computers, cash, HOW BURGURLARS GET IN… model credit cards, handbags, wallets, jewellery, home Put up Neighbourhood Watch or stickers Forced window 39% size audio equipment, power tools and garden tools, provided by security firms to let thieves know Forced door 31% colour household electricals, computers, prescription your property is marked. Open door 9% drugs, bicycles, and clothing - especially brand serial number labels and leather jackets. Open window 4% “I think there’s something going on.....” original cost No sign of entry 3% Other 14% If you’re suspicious about something next door, (including asked in) WHERE YOU ARE WHILE YOU’RE BEING BURGLED down the street or in your neighbourhood, call On the premises 31% These statistics have been compiled from information available the police. Jot down useful details, such as a from the Victorian Department of Justice and the NRMA (NSW). description of a suspicious vehicle or person(s). At work 31% they represent average figures over recent years. Don’t take unnecessary risks. If you see someone Visiting 11% acting suspiciously, don’t approach or challenge. On holidays 9% Give all the information you have to the police. Shopping 7% Other 11% These figures were compiled from data collected by the NRMA and relate to NSW. A COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE The Commonwealth Government is strongly committed to reducing crime at all levels, in partnership with our communities. BURGLARY IS EVERYONE’S PROBLEM Are you at risk of a break-in? Is your home safe from intruders? Have you done all you can to ensure your own safety and the protection of your property? Are your valuables protected? Or… is it easy for a burglar to get in? Easy for a burglar to sell your things without suspicion? Are you secluded but unsafe – sheltered from prying eyes but sheltering to thieves? If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these queries, you may need to introduce some changes around your home – to make it harder for burglars to break in, and easier for you and your neighbours to sleep at night. This booklet will help you identify how you may be vulnerable, and what you can do to fix it. For more information about the National Crime Prevention Programme, visit our website: www.crimeprevention.gov.au Disclaimer - This brochure contains general guidelines for increasing security at home. The Commonwealth Government, in providing this information, makes no representation nor gives any warranty or guarantee concerning the safety of persons or property, nor does the Commonwealth Government accept any responsibility for any damage or loss, however caused, suffered by any individual or corporation arising from the use or application of these guidelines. Users of these guidelines must satisfy themselves as to the adequacy of the guidelines for the purposes of their own safety and security.
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