'Home burglaries worse and rising’. ‘Big guns out to catch robbers’. ‘Home invasion hell’.
These are just some of the media headlines from 1997 when there was, on average, a burglary every 11 minutes.
RACV has analysed crime statistics back to this time to inform members what was happening in their suburbs and to help members protect themselves and their homes. The base data, analysed by RACV Home Services, comes from Victoria Police crime statistics and is matched with the number of occupied houses according to Census and local government data.
In the 1996-1997 financial year, one in every 28 homes in metropolitan Melbourne were burgled, and one in every 33 in Victoria, according to the analysis. The top burgled postcode was 3000, Melbourne’s CBD, with an average of one in every five homes burgled. There were more than 48,000 burglaries in that year.
From 1997 to 2001 the burglary rate across Melbourne and Victoria remained high. In 2002 the Victorian Burglary Reduction Council took action by targeting high burglary risk areas and houses being built or renovated. The Victorian Reduction Council helped local councils improve streetscapes and community safety. Residents also became more aware of security concerns and options to make their homes safer.
“Victoria Police, Crime Prevention Victoria, Emergency Services, Neighbourhood Watch and RACV were among the organisations that united to take a coordinated approach to combatting crime,” general manager RACV Home Services Aaron Flavell says.
“Victorians are now more aware about how to make their homes safe. They know good locks on doors and windows are important, and to install outdoor lights, as well as home alarms and security systems.
"With recent high-profile home invasions and car-jackings, it's more important than ever to be aware of potential threats, even when you're at home."
From 2002-2010, there was a significant drop in the burglary rate, with one in 67 homes burgled in Melbourne and one in 72 in Victoria, according to RACV Home Services figures.
However, since 2010, Victoria’s burglary rate has flat-lined.
Some pockets of Melbourne have seen significant improvement since 1997 and continue to improve.
However, some areas have seen a dramatic increase in home burglaries. Aaron says people can never be complacent when it comes to personal and home safety.
“It's important to stay vigilant and take steps to improve security, particularly as burglars target new areas,” he says.
To help members home in on how their region rates, RACV releases a yearly 10-part series on Victorian burglary statistics with experts providing their views on what is happening and what we can do to ensure a safer community.