lock burglars out! by alendar


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                        lock burglars out!
                                                                                                             It always happens to
                                                                                                             someone else

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
     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
     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.

        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:

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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