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Home Living : November 25th 2008
8 HLF - Publication, Tuesday, November 25, 2008 2279616K HL wk21 ADVERTIS EMENT Break and enters affected more than 41,600 residential households in New South Wales in 2007, with on average 800 home burglaries reported to NSW Police each week. While data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research NSW shows this figure continued the downward trend from a high of 68,683 reported home burglaries in 2000, Mark Norton, General Manager and Vice President, ANZ of ADT Security says it is important to remember that 2007 also represented the height of economic prosperity for many Australians. With tougher economic conditions and higher unemployment being forecast, he warns it may not take long for these circumstances to cause an increase in home burglary. "Certainly, there is anecdotal evidence that indicates a relationship between rising inflation, tougher economic times and increased crime rates. Furthermore, it is widely reported that areas with high levels of unemployment and lower average weekly incomes experience much higher rates of burglaries," he says. Obviously some homes are more tempting to thieves than others. Homes that are located in quiet streets with minimal traffic tend to be particularly susceptible. Other factors include heavy foliage cover, proximity of access routes (for example, pedestrian laneways or open parkland), poor lighting and the lack of security systems. In fact, the Australian Institute of Criminology reports that house alarms are the single most effective deterrent of burglars. "The bottom line is thieves just don't want to get caught. They would sooner rob a house without an alarm than a house with one. That's why it's important to use stickers or signs that advertise your home is protected by a monitored alarm," Norton says. Cost has traditionally been seen as the biggest inhibitor to homeowners investing in security solutions such as monitored alarm systems and security cameras, and at no time is this truer than when inflation is high. Unfortunately, it's also the time that homes are most at risk. "It's a tough situation. When pressure on the family budget forces home security down the priority list, is exactly when many homeowners need it most. On one hand, you can look at the savings made by not having a security system in place, but on the other hand you have to ask yourself whether you could afford to replace your possessions should the unthinkable happen. Suddenly $1 a day starts looking pretty good." Fortunately, a number of insurance companies now offer discounted premiums to customers who take precautions to protect their home, with added incentives to homeowners who invest in a monitored home alarm over a less effective standalone alarm. "How many times have you heard an alarm and not known what to do? AAMI Insurance has a frightening statistic - almost half of us do nothing. The difference between an ADT monitored alarm and the unsupported variety is that our Customer Care team is trained to respond to an alarm signal 24/7," explains Norton. Despite the benefits offered by monitored home alarm systems, Norton adds it remains vitally important to maintain a good relationship with neighbours. "The safest and most secure communities in Australia are the ones in which people know their neighbours. They know who to call in the event of an emergency, they know when their neighbours are on holidays and they are aware of any work being done on their neighbour's property. In short, they are better able to identify and report suspicious activity. Strangers may ignore the warning signs, good neighbours don't." For further information visit the ADT Security website - www.adtsecurity.com.au Protection you can't afford to be without
November 18th 2008
December 2nd 2008