Christmas is a prime time for break and enters and theft. So as the silly season fast approaches Aussies need to get serious about security with some simple tips to improve security.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) there were 203,438 unlawful entry with intent offences recorded in 2013 and almost 70 per cent of them involved the taking of property.

NSW had the highest number of incidents, recording 58,584. Victoria and Queensland followed, with 45,122 and 41,289 respectively. Then: Western Australia – 35,438; South Australia – 14,354; Tasmania – 3,484; Northern Territory – 3,098; ACT – 2,069.

While it is a year round issue, Christmas is a prime time for theft due to greater ease of accessibility. In fact, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) data reveals that over the past five years in NSW more than 23,000 break and enters have been reported to police in December alone.

During the warmer weather many of us become more relaxed about security, leaving doors and windows open – an open invitation for criminals. It’s also a time when many go away on holiday and leave their premises unattended.

The good news is that the number of break and enters has been trending down over the past five years, which could partly be due to people heeding the warnings and taking extra precautions to secure their property and deter thieves. However, it is important not to be complacent.

To assist homeowners in preparing for the holiday season here’s some simple tips to improve security:

Six steps to improved security:

  • Be sensible on social – Change your security settings to private, don’t advertise that you’re going away or are away, consider sharing your holidays when you return home, be mindful of the images you post, disable location services.
  • Make friends with your neighbours – exchange phone numbers, ask them to keep an eye on your property and call the police if they notice any suspicious activity.
  • Make your house look lived in – Ask a neighbour to park in your driveway and collect your mail, or put your mail on hold.
  • Keep valuables out of sight – true for homes, cars and businesses. Place the packaging of expensive items towards the bottom of your rubbish bin.
  • Make access difficult – lock up, remove items that may be climbed on, do not hide keys outside your home, install motion-sensor lights.
  • Upgrade your defences – review your security and consider getting a licenced professional to install an alarm system.

Author: Bryan de Caires, CEO, Australian Security Industry Association Ltd.

Get serious about security this silly season