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One Third Of People Home When Burglars Strike

Jun 25, 2008
Around one third of residential burglaries in WA occur when someone is in the home, a fact which highlights the importance of locking all doors and windows even when you're at home.

A report by the University of Western Australia's Crime Research Centre (CRC), which interviewed offenders, found that over a third admitted to knowingly breaking into occupied premises at some time during their burglary career.

The most common entry point for all residential burglaries was through the side or back of the home and over three quarters broke in on a weekday. This goes against the typical feeling from people that homes are at the most vulnerable over the weekend.

The CRC study also asked offenders about the impact of four deterrents: alarms, dogs, deadlocks and property marking. They asked offenders to nominate which one would most deter them. The most common response was a home alarm.

For households with an existing alarm system, this reinforces the importance of using it even when the home is occupied. Full arming, excluding bedrooms, should always be used overnight.

With around two thirds of break-ins occurring during daylight hours, the use of perimeter protection, a function on some alarms, can also provide much needed security when someone is home during the day. Sensors installed on all external doors and windows allow occupants to move freely through every part of the home while the system is activated.

While most residential burglaries occur when the home is unoccupied, householders are still urged to be vigilant whenever they are home, no matter what time of day.

Even when spending time outdoors on your property, ensure that all entry points to your home are secured. Many thefts are often caused by a thief spotting an opportunity.

RAC Manager for Community Safety Policy Taruia Nicholls said that it is important to lock doors and windows in your home all times.

"Even if you just go to the letterbox, or outside to work in the garden or hang the washing, that small amount of time is all a burglar needs to sneak in, grab your belongings, and wander off."

"You may not even realise that something has been taken until many hours later".

The RAC urges all residents to ensure that all entry points to their home are secured even when they are outdoors on their property. Ensuring these small steps are made could lead to a larger saving in the long term.
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