Burglary, or house-breaking, is one of the most common crimes in the ACT.
Burglaries are often crimes of opportunity. Most intruders are looking for, and often find, a house left open or unlocked, making it easy for them to get what they can with ease and make a quick getaway.
Research suggests most burglaries are preventable. By applying a number of simple and inexpensive home security measures, you can deter intruders and reduce the risk of burglary to your home.
There are a number of things you can do to try and deter thieves from your home.
- Make your house number easy to see from the street so emergency services can easily locate your house.
- Trim bushes and trees that obscure windows and could be used as hiding places by intruders.
- Have your outside lights, window and door locks checked regularly to ensure they are operating correctly.
- Install sensor lights that turn on with movement.
- Never leave keys hidden outside your home; leave them with a trusted neighbour or friend. Alternatively get a key holder that can be bolted outside and only opened by a number code.
- Don’t leave garden tools lying around; always keep them in a locked shed or garage.
- Join your local Neighbourhood Watch and be an active part of crime prevention in your community.
- Install a peephole in your door and a light outside so you can see who is there without opening the door.
- Lock doors and windows even when you are at home – unlocked side and rear doors and windows are common entry points for burglars.
- Put a padlock on your back gate and letter box.
- Get to know your neighbours and who is supposed to live there; look out for each other.
- Keep police, ambulance, relatives and doctor’s telephone numbers written down next to or programmed into your phone.
- Have a phone extension in your bedroom or keep your mobile phone with you at all times.
For more information view the Home and Personal Safety Guide.
- Keep cash and valuables out of sight.
- Adjust your blinds or curtains so you can’t see what is inside.
- If you hang your key near a door with glass panels, make sure it is out of reach of anyone who could smash a pane.
- Don’t keep large amounts of cash in your home unless it’s in a good quality safe.
- Keep valuables in a safe spot and photograph items such as jewellery.
- Record the serial numbers, makes, models, colour and size of your specific items. Keep the list of inventory in a safe place and keep another copy away from home. Make sure you update the inventory when you get new property.
There are also a number of smartphone applications and online resources available for you to keep a record of your valuables.
If you are at home and suspect you have an intruder, go to the nearest telephone and quietly call the police emergency number Triple Zero (000). Switch on lights and make a lot of noise moving about but don’t confront the intruder.
If the intruder confronts you, try to stay calm but find a way to alert others especially if you believe the noise might be heard by a neighbour. If you arrive home and suspect an intruder is inside, don’t enter the house, go to a safe place and call police making sure you keep out of sight and a safe distance from the house.
If you see anyone leaving, without putting yourself in danger, try to get a description of what they are wearing, hair colour, complexion, which direction they leave and if they are in a vehicle or walking.
Call police on 131 444 for police attendance in a non-emergency or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 to report any suspicious behaviour.