The data reveals that across the state three homes are broken into every hour, every day, and that an average of one in 91 homes is burgled each year. However, households in Braybrook are more than twice as likely to be broken into compared with the state average, with one in 39 homes burgled over the 12 months to 30 June 2019.
The risk of burglary is highest in country Victoria, with regional areas making up eight of the state’s 10 riskiest postcodes. The 3956 postcode, covering Dumbalk, Venus Bay, Meeniyan, Tarwin Lower and surrounding communities, has the state’s highest burglary risk of one in 33 homes, followed by postcode 3840 which includes Morwell and Hazelwood with a 1-in-33 risk.
The police data, compiled by the Crime Statistics Agency, shows residential burglaries across the state dropped 12.6 per cent in 2018-19. The average burglary rate fell from one in 76 homes to one in 91 homes.
But despite the decline, an RACV survey of more than 800 householders across metro and regional Victoria found that 25 per cent of respondents feel their local area is less safe than it was five years ago.
RACV general manager business solutions, Raymond Orre, says Victorians’ perceptions of crime are symptomatic of wider concerns in their community but believes there are ways Victorians can feel safer at home and in their neighbourhoods.
“Until crime rates are at zero, there is still reason for concern and more importantly, action,” he says.
The risk of burglary is highest in country Victoria, with regional areas making up eight of the state’s 10 riskiest postcodes.
He says RACV research found that one in five people surveyed have sophisticated home security solutions but rarely activate them or keep them in working order. Regular checks and system tests are a simple way to maintain peace of mind in the home.
“Positively, one in five people already believe that their neighbours look out for them, and in turn, they look out for their neighbours,” he says.
“Notifying your neighbours when you’re out of the home and asking them to check your mail or put out your bins can be a helpful deterrent for criminals and helps to foster a stronger sense of community.”
About one in five of those surveyed had experienced a burglary and said it made them feel scared, annoyed or vulnerable.
Most respondents believe burglars are deterred by evidence of a home being occupied, including not having an overflowing letterbox, as well as security measures such as security systems, security doors, sensor lights and dogs.
The Crime Statistics Agency data for the 2018 calendar year found the most likely time for burglaries is on a Friday during the day. More than 17 per cent of burgled houses were broken into on a Friday, about 15 per cent on Saturdays, 14 per cent on Thursdays and 13.5 per cent on Sundays.
About a third of burglaries happened between noon and 6pm, while 14 per cent happened between midnight and 6am.
Almost one in five thieves broke in by forcing a door, while almost 14 per cent got in through an unlocked door.
The top items stolen include jewellery, electrical appliances, cash and documents. While the theft of smartphones remained stable over the past 10 years, the theft of keys had increased.