Burglars focus shifts to south-east as home invasions soar by 40 per cent RACV analysis reveals

Homes in some of Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs were more than twice as likely to be burgled as the average Victorian home, RACV's comprehensive analysis of 2015/16 crime statistics has revealed.

The average Victorian burglary rate rose from one in 74 homes to one in 68 homes, as the number of burglaries reported to Victoria Police increased by 10 per cent across the state.

RACV’s new interactive digital map that allows Victorians to zoom in on any postcode to find out its burglary rate, shows that Cardinia and Clyde recorded the worst burglary rate in Greater Metropolitan Melbourne with one in 19 households burgled during 2015/16 – up from one in 25 last year.

This year’s top 10 Greater Melbourne list is a mix of outer metropolitan fringe areas with new housing estates, inner-north suburbs popular with renters and well-established suburbs.

Mornington Peninsula postcodes continued to feature after making the top 10 for the first time last year. This year, Rye, Shoreham and Balnarring were all deemed riskier than average, with Hastings in equal tenth place due to a 1 in 34 homes burglary rate.

RACV Home Services and Security General Manager Aaron Flavell said these figures show that no one is immune to the current wave of burglaries.

The top regional burglary hot spot is Gippsland postcode 3851, with a burglary rate of 1 in 11 households – up from 1 in 27 homes the previous year. This postcode includes Airly, Seaspray, Montgomery and Darriman.  

Geelong suburbs – Corio, Norlane, North Shore, East Geelong and Newcomb – featured in second and third place among the worst regional areas with burglary rates of one in 31 and 32 homes.

Mr Flavell said different areas will be attractive to burglars for different reasons – new home estates are known to have many new goods and in some instances border on socio-economically challenged areas. High-turnover rental areas are also vulnerable partly due to neighbours not knowing each other.

“RACV encourages all Victorians to get to know their neighbours and look out for each other.”

“Our analysis clearly shows that residents in some areas have a higher-than-average risk of being burgled in any one year.

“While there are often complex reasons why some areas have higher burglary rates than others, home owners can effectively reduce their chance of being burgled by increasing the would-be burglar’s risk of being disturbed or caught.

“Unfortunately, burglary victims are at high risk of being targeted again as burglars often return to steal new items replacing the previously stolen goods.  Neighbours are also at an increased risk.

“However, research shows that burglars are less likely to target a property if a security system is present, so consider installing a monitored security alarm system.

Mr Flavell said Crime Statistics Agency data also showed that the rate of home invasions soared by 40 per cent.

“While the surge in home invasions was concerning, the vast majority of burglaries took place when no one was home.

“Home invasions are a remote risk, so it is important to keep it in perspective, but also to know what you can do to prepare to be safe and reduce the risks for you and your family.

“If you should get burgled while at home, the safety of you and your family is paramount. You should never confront offenders but focus on staying safe while trying to call 000,” he said.

“A concerning fact is that a high proportion of burglaries take place when doors and windows have been left unlocked, which is why RACV urges Victorians to lock up their homes whether they are at home, away on holidays or just down the street for a quick errand.

“Thieves look for easy entry into homes, so make sure that your doors, windows, side gates and rear entries are well secured with locks made to Australian Standards.

“RACV data shows that he most stolen items are cash, electrical appliances and jewellery, so anything you can do to keep those out of sight will slow thieves down or even deter them as most burglars are looking for a quick grab and get-away.

“It is also important to have home and contents insurance in case the worst should happen.”

RACV’s interactive map is available at https://www.racv.com.au/burgstats

Top 10 burglary hot spots across Victoria

Rank

Suburb

Post code

Burglary rate

2014-15

2015-16

1.

Airly, Seaspray, Montgomery, Darriman

3851

1 in 27 homes

1 in 11 homes

2.

Cardinia, Clyde, Clyde north

3978

1 in 25 homes

1 in 19 homes

3.

Plumpton, Rockbank

3335

1 in 17 homes

1 in 20 homes

4.

Wollert

3750

1 in 25  homes

1 in 21 homes

5.

Frankston North, Pines Forest

3200

1 in 46  homes

1 in 26 homes

6.

Officer, Officer South

3809

1 in 48 homes

1 in 28 homes

7.

Bellfield, Heidelberg Heights, Heidelberg West

3081

1 in 44 homes

1 in 30 homes

8.

Corio, Norlane, North Shore

3214

1 in 34 homes

1 in 31 homes

9.

Breakwater, East Geelong, Newcomb, St Albans Park, Thomson, Whittington

3219

1 in 54 homes

1 in 32 homes

=9.

Melbourne University, Parkville

3052

1 in 53 homes

1 in 32 homes

 

Top 10 Greater Melbourne burglary hot spots

Rank

Suburb

Post code

Burglary rate

2014-15

2015-16

1.

Cardinia, Clyde, Clyde north

3978

1 in 25 homes

1 in 19 homes

2.

Plumpton, Rockbank

3335

1 in 17 homes

1 in 20 homes

3.

Wollert

3750

1 in 25 homes

1 in 21 homes

4.

Frankston North, Pines Forest

3200

1 in 46 homes

1 in 26 homes

5.

Officer, Officer South

3809

1 in 48 homes

1 in 28 homes

6.

Bellfield, Heidelberg Heights, Heidelberg West

3081

1 in 44 homes

1 in 30 homes

7.

Melbourne University, Parkville

3052

1 in 53 homes

1 in 32 homes

=8.

Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana

3047

1 in 28 homes

1 in 33 homes

=8.

Narre Warren East, Narre Warren North

3804

1 in 38 homes

1 in 33 homes

=10.

Hastings, Tuerong

3915

1 in 31 homes

1 in 34 homes

=10.

Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans

3021

1 in 36 homes

1 in 34 homes

 

 

Top 10 regional burglary hot spots

Rank

Suburb

Post code

Burglary rate

2014-15

2015-16

1.

Airly, Seaspray, Montgomery, Darriman

3851

1 in 27 homes

1 in 11 homes

2.

Corio, Norlane, North Shore

3214

1 in 34 homes

1 in 31 homes

3.

Breakwater, East Geelong, Newcomb, St Albans Park, Thomson, Whittington

3219

1 in 54 homes

1 in 32 homes

=4.

Mildura, Mildura west

3500

1 in 36 homes

1 in 33 homes

=4.

Anglesea

3230

1 in 100 homes

1 in 33 homes

=6.

Driffield

3840

1 in 39 homes

1 in 34 homes

=6.

Cowes

3922

1 in 27 homes

1 in 34 homes

8.

Lake Gardens, Mitchell Park, Wendouree, Wendouree Village

3355

1 in 51 homes

1 in 36 homes

=9.

Flowerdale

3717

1 in 66 homes

1 in 39 homes

=9.

Aberfeldy

3825

1 in 62 homes

1 in 39 homes

 

RACV’s Home Security tips (More: www.racv.com.au/security)

  • EVERYDAY HOME SECURITY
    • Lock the front door at all times. A large proportion of burgled homes were not locked at the time.
    • Ensure that all doors and windows are well secured with locks made to Australian standards.
    • Consider installing a professionally monitored security alarm system and activate it when you are home as well as when you are away. Your technician can help with advice in this regard.
    • Consider installing a CCTV surveillance system in addition to a professionally monitored alarm.
    • Get to know your neighbours and their habits. Help look out for each other.
    • Report suspicious behaviour to police immediately via 000.
    • Know where you keep valuables, including cash, keys and laptops/tablets. Keeping them out of sight could prevent theft by common burglars who want to remain undetected, but always comply with home invaders’ demands for valuables to ensure the safety of you and your family.
    • Reduce your risk of becoming a target of home invasion by parking prestige cars in a garage.
    • Talk to your family about what to do in emergencies such as a house fire or home invasion. Having a plan in place can help keep you safe.
  • WHEN YOU GO AWAY
    • Be careful with your personal information online – you wouldn’t put a billboard outside your house advertising when you’re away, but this information is often posted openly on social media.
    • Make sure your house looks lived-in. Put your mail on hold or have it collected and, if you’re taking the car, ask a neighbour to park in your driveway.
    • Don’t leave keys hidden outside the house. Leave a set with a trusted friend or family member.
    • Always lock your tools away. They can be used to break into a property, or even as weapons.
    • Consider installing motion sensor lighting to help deter criminals and alert others to their presence.
  • IN THE EVENT OF A HOME INVASION
    • If you hear a loud knock or banging on the front door late at night, don’t hesitate to call 000.
    • Activate your safety plan, which could mean retreating to a secure room together or even leaving the house if possible. Having a plan in place can help keep you safe.
    • Never confront offenders as this places you and your family at risk of harm.
    • Try to keep space between yourself and offenders. If you can’t escape to a separate area, try to keep a desk or table between you and any offender.
    • Comply with all demands. Valuables are replaceable – you are not.
    • Call Triple Zero (000) as soon as it is safe to do so.
    • Don’t touch anything or try to clean up the scene.
    • Focus on your family – get them into a safe and comfortable area where the impact of home invasion is not visible.
    • Consider contacting support organisations such as Victims of Crime to help you deal with the trauma.
Written by Liselotte Geary, RACV Public Affairs, 9790 2717
December 14, 2016