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