July 23, 2024
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By miragenews

Neighbourhood Watch Australasia, a crime prevention organization in Australia, has raised the alarm about the increase of home burglaries and urged homeowners to take serious steps to improve the security standards at their homes.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics* reports that 2% of Australian homes or 194,100 households experienced an intruder last year. The figure was an increase from the 1.7% recorded in 2020-21.

Neighbourhood Watch Australasia, in response to this, has announced the first National Secure Your Home Day, which will take place on 23-24 September. They are urging Australians, to act immediately to improve their home security.

A total of 374 400 homes in Australia, or 3.8 percent, were damaged by malicious property damage, the number one crime across all states. Most commonly, motor vehicles (27%) and external doors (23%) as well as exterior items like walls, fences and letters boxes (25%), were damaged.

Around two thirds of all break-ins (65) result in the theft of property, including handbags and jewellery (23%), outdoor items or gardening items (21%), bicycles or sports equipment (18%).

Maria Bennett, CEO of NeighbourhoodWatch Australasia said: “We are committed to helping homeowners break this cycle by taking the steps necessary to feel safer.”

The numbers are not lying. While the number of home invasions isn’t at its pre-Covid level, it has been on a steady upward trend. Now is the time to take action. “Simple steps can have a huge impact on whether or not your house is considered an easy target,” said Ms. Sherry.

National Secure Your Home Day, developed by Neighbourhood Watch Australasia in collaboration with University of Queensland, is part of an initiative called S.A.F.E. – Safer Australia For Everyone. Neighbourhood Watch Australasia will also be hosting information sessions for the community in high-risk areas, such as Toowoomba and Canberra, along with the National Education Day.

We are piloting a new program that will train people on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. The security experts can then work in the community by hosting training sessions for free with homeowners.

National Secure Your Home Day does not only raise awareness, but also empowers Australians by providing them with useful tips and resources. We can create safer, more resilient communities through education and engagement with the community.

Bernie Durkin, Chairperson of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia and Executive Manager of the Community Engagement Division of the Western Australian Police, said that crime increases were inevitable.

He said that, contrary to what many people believe, the crime rate follows cyclical patterns. The future of crime in the post COVID era is uncertain. We have seen an increase in certain categories but the COVID pandemic has brought crime to historically low rates. It is unclear if we will ever return to those levels.

Durkin stated, “Unfortunately, prevention is not always high on the agenda of families until it’s too late.

“In general, most people become proactive in crime prevention and security at home only when they become victims. We want to change this reactive attitude.

We live in an environment that is relatively safe, where a very small number of people commit most of the crimes. I advise community members to use common sense every day, whether they are using public transportation or protecting their home. “Simple actions like not leaving your bag in the car can help deter opportunistic crime.”

Homeowners are encouraged to register at www.secureyourhomeday.com.au, and receive a free National Secure Your Home Day Kit, including a comprehensive Home Security Checklist that steps through every aspect of property security systematically.

There are many cost-effective and simple ways to increase home security. From installing security cameras or outdoor sensors lighting, you can choose from a variety of options. The 53 points of home security to be assessed are listed below. “We encourage all to assess where changes can be made to better protect your home. No matter how little, any action will make a big difference.

The Home Security Checklist is available at National Secure Your Home Day, www.secureyourhomeday.com.au.

National Secure Your Home Day: Easy Security Upgrades

Install security screens on your exterior doors. Lock them even if you are home. Make sure they have a strong core. Install security screens: These should cover windows and doors. They should also be difficult to remove or damage.

Store spare keys in a smart way: Do not hide them under your doormat, or anywhere else that is obvious.

Visibility: Make sure you are able to see visitors at your door, without opening it.

Re-enforce sliding doors: Put a dowel into the track to stop them being easily opened.

Consider installing security screens and locking windows.

Hiding valuables is a good idea. Keep items such as keys, wallets and mobile phones hidden and out of site.

Use security cameras: Install them at the key entry points, and display signage to discourage criminals.

Keep the outdoor area neat: trim shrubs, and make sure to check your mailbox daily for signs that you are not home.

You can count on them in times of need.

Comment Case Study

Joanna Mularczyk-gur, Coorparoo resident

Joanna, a resident of Coorparoo since 1977, has experienced increasing threats to her security, such as a stalker, and several break-ins. Joanna took proactive measures to protect her home, and gain her peace ofmind.

I’ve been living here since 1977 and it is heartbreaking to watch the changes. Years ago I was stalked by someone who broke into my house multiple times. “It’s gotten worse over the years,” Joanna recalls.

Joanna was faced with a major security breach in 2020. I came home one day from work to discover that my french door had been forced opened and more than $100,000 in jewellery was gone. “My neighbour came to help me, and later they returned but were disturbed.”

Joanna was again the victim of a break-in at Valentine’s Day in 2022. They forced open the door that faces the street. The second time, they went back to the house and targeted silver objects. They came back for more, this time targeting silver items.

The emotional impact has been catastrophic. For six months, I did not sleep. Now I never go outside after dark. Joanna acknowledges that there is a high level of mistrust.

Joanna took various measures to secure her house. I’ve put in new locks and strengthened my front door. Even my sliding window rods are reinforced. My veranda is bulletproof, I have gates for my locks as well as a security system.

Security is something that you cannot take for granted. You need to make sure you protect yourself, your family and home.

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