Don’t let your home become a crime scene this Christmas

Media release - 5th December, 2013

Security tips for a crime-free holiday season

In the excitement of preparing for the summer holidays, it can be easy to forget to secure your home against unwanted intruders this Christmas.

“The good news is that the frequency of home invasions has stabilised across New South Wales in recent times due to improvements in surveillance technologies and the like, however there are still some significant exceptions to this rule,” says Angus Raine, Executive Chairman and CEO of Raine & Horne.

Statistics produced by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research reveal that home invasions have escalated in Sydney’s Inner West by as much as 47.5 percent p.a. since June 2011, and by 25.3 percent in Sutherland. [i]

In regional NSW, the home invasion hotspots are Moree Plains (62.3 percent), Forbes (44.8 percent) and Port Stephens (40.4 percent).[ii]  

Despite the threat of burglaries, which often escalate at Christmas time, Mr Raine advises that some straightforward steps can maintain the security of a home over the summer holidays.

“Ensuring doors have high-quality locks, particularly deadlocks, and windows have keyed locks or security grills is a sensible defence against crooks this Christmas,” says Mr Raine.

“If your home has sliding doors or windows, a simple metal or wooden rod wedged in the cavity can prevent them being opened from the outside.”

Other tips include installing a security alarm, locking up the power box to prevent tampering with alarm systems and lights, and ensuring gates are locked and gaps in fences are repaired.

Presenting the impression that a home is occupied is another simple deterrent.

“Leaving blinds or curtains in normal positions and installing a sensor light to flick on when someone approaches can ward off aspiring intruders,” says Mr Raine.

“Set a timer to switch on your lights and a radio or television at different times, while hanging some old clothes on the line and leaving a pair of shoes at the front door are other ways to give the impression your home is occupied.

“Turn down the ring tone on your phone so people don’t know you’re not around, but leaving a message on the answering machine or voicemail telling people you are away should be avoided,” says Mr Raine.

“You should also suspend newspaper or magazine subscriptions during your absence.”

Mr Raine also advises that holidaymakers would be wise not to underestimate the value of vigilant neighbours.

“Ask your neighbours to collect your mail, park a car in your driveway and put your rubbish out for collection,” says Mr Raine.

“Get them to keep an eye out and report suspicious activity to you and the police – so make sure they have your mobile phone number.

“It’s also wise to trim the grass before you leave and ask a neighbour to cut it again if you are away for more than a few weeks,” adds Mr Raine.

Homes and possessions can be secured all year round by following these steps:

  • Don’t leave spare keys in obvious places;
  • Put small valuables such as cash or jewellery in a safe deposit box;
  • Mark or engrave valuables with your driver’s licence number and keep a list and photographs of them;
  • Keep home and contents insurance up-to-date.

 

-ENDS-

For further media information contact:

Angus Raine, Executive Chairman & CEO, Raine & Horne, 0458 388 889 

Andrew Harrington, National Marketing & Communications Coordinator on 02 9258 5400



[i] http://crimetool.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/bocsar/

[ii] http://crimetool.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/bocsar/