With the holiday season just around the corner, local police are urging residents to take steps to protect their properties from opportunistic thieves.
District Crime Prevention Co-ordinator Senior Constable Danielle Grauf says many people go away during the holiday season, often making simple mistakes that put their homes at risk.
“Most house break-ins are largely opportunistic crime, not planned as such. It’s generally someone walking past and deciding to target your house for a variety of reasons,” Sen-constable Grauf says.
“We can make it less attractive by making your home look lived in and locking away valuable items.”
Common mistakes made all year round include leaving doors and windows open and unlocked, leaving valuables in sight and accessible, having dim front-of-house lighting and overgrown trees and bushes, and assuming break-ins only happen at night.
During the holiday season, people forget to lock internal garage doors, neglecting to ask someone to collect their mail and check on their property, leaving a spare key under the mat or in a garden pot, posting on social media that they are away, and not connecting internal lights to a timer to make it look like someone is home.
Sen-Constable Grauf says residents need to stop making it easy for criminals to break in and steal property.
“This is a full-time job for some and we need to make them unemployed so to speak,” she says.
“It’s upsetting being a victim of crime - that an offender has invaded your safe private space, gone through your property and taken personal, sentimental items and heirlooms.”
Get an audit done
Residents keen to better protect their homes can contact Redcliffe Police Station and ask the District Crime Prevention Unit (DCPC) to conduct a home security audit.
“We conduct a multilevel audit starting from the external perimeter of the property (fencing, vegetation, balcony, CCTV cameras, alarms, lighting) to the interior (entry points, property visibility, car keys) inside the house,” Sen-Constable Grauf says.
During the holiday season, residents are being urged to report suspicious behaviour and break ins, even if only attempts were made to enter the property.
“Your information could provide a piece of the puzzle that helps to find a suspect for a similar crime. Offenders don’t just do this once and give up … they repeat the process over and over,” Sen-Constable Grauf says.
Report crime online at police.qld.gov.au/policelink-reporting or phone policelink on 131 444.
Top six tips
- Get to know your neighbours
- Invest in security screens
- Have sensor lights installed. Security cameras are more common, with budget available. Dummy cameras are also a deterrent
- Trim overgrown trees and bushes near front of the house to make it visible from the street
- Keep valuable items out of sight - electric scooters, car keys, devices, mobile phones
- Take a photo of your valuables (jewellery, tools, E scooters) and keep it stored separately. Photos are helpful for insurance and the police report
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