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Community Crime Prevention


Recently a Community Crime Prevention workshop run by Victoria Police was held in Bannockburn in response to an increasing number of incidents across the Shire.

Having your home broken into can be an extremely distressing experience as can being personally attacked, whether physically or electronically. Increasing numbers of people are being targeted by criminals focused on obtaining what is yours by deception and theft.

We plan to bring you information and strategies during the months ahead that will empower you to recognize and understand when you are being targeted so that you can take steps to protect yourself and your property.

Burglary and Theft.
Many people feel violated with the thought of a stranger going through their personal belongings. There are, however, simple and effective measures you can implement to significantly reduce the incidence of burglary at your home.

To determine how secure your home is, think like a burglar, consider how difficult it would be to break in. Are there any tools or ladders available around your property that would assist a burglar gain entry to your house or sheds. Do garden shrubs and fences conceal what is happening. 

Rural and semi rural properties present additional problems to securing your property. 
By implementing the following strategies you may reduce the chance of becoming a victim of crime.

1.  Mailbox. If you are away make sure someone clears your mailbox for you. A lock on your mailbox can prevent theft of mail and having your personal identity assumed and used by someone else for financial gain.

2.  Rubbish. Don’t leave boxes from newly purchased good out for collection. Break them up. Ensure you shred or destroy all personal information on bills and banking statements before replacing in the recycle bin. If you are away don’t leave bins out for everyone to see.

3.  Fences. Your fences should allow passers by and neighbours see what is happening in your front yard. Ensure side gates are locked with a quality padlock, gate hinges are capped to prevent removal and bins near gates removed so they can’t be used as ladders for entry.

4.  Garden. Ensure your garden is well maintained to ensure your property looks lived in. Trees and shrubs around windows and doors should be trimmed to prevent concealment for burglars.

5.  House Numbers. Your house number should be clearly visible from the street to allow quick identification for emergency services.

6.  Meter Box. Lock well to prevent an intruder switching off your power but you must provide access for the power company to access your meter.

7.  Lighting. Consider the installation of external sensor lights to deter potential thieves. This also provides security for you and your visitors as they approach. Internal lighting on a time switch will suggest someone is home while you are away.

8.  Neighbours. Get to know your neighbours and help each other maintain security. Report any suspicious or unusual activity in the area day or night and report immediately to police on 000

9.  Holidays. If you are going away for an extended period, get someone to house sit for you. Absence from residence forms provide police with useful information while you are away and your area can be included in routine police patrols.

10.  Tradespeople. Know who your are dealing with. Be wary of cold callers who tell you things need fixing and offer to do it. Choose tradespeople from reputable sources or who have been recommended by others.

I have been broken into – What now?
If you believe someone is still in your house, call police on 000. Do not enter the house or apprehend the offender as they may be carrying weapons and they may also be unpredictable. From a safe distance write down any description of a person or vehicle and notify police.

If you come home and find your house broken into, take a deep breath then call 000 or your local police station. DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING the offender may have touched. Forensic evidence can be easily destroyed so it is important to keep children and pets out of the way.

The process for police attendance can vary according to the area in which you live. In some areas a crime desk member will attend to take reports, fingerprints, photographs and collect other forensic evidence. In some cases police in a divisional van will attend to take a report and detectives may attend to look for forensic evidence.

Commence writing a list of items stolen. Police will need the model, serial numbers and the colour of the item. If you notice additional property that was stolen after police have left should be reported. A exercise book kept for this purpose will be an invaluable asset – as you purchase an item, list the details in the exercise book.

Speak to your neighbours and ask if they saw or heard anything.

You will need to contact your insurance company and request a claim form.

Locating Stolen Property  Stolen property can sometimes be located through second hand dealers. It is recommended that you check with second hand dealers, both in and out of your area, also e-bay, gumtree and other online trading sites, the Trading Post and the Classifieds.

If you locate your property please advise the police officer investigating your burglary or the local Criminal Investigation Unit.

Police will notify you if your property has been located and if an offender has been charged with the offence.

For Further Assistance or Information
1.  Victims of Crime Helpline:
Everyone reacts and deals with being a victim of crime in their own way. If you feel you are not coping and need help contact a Victim Support Officer on 1800 819 817 or www.justice.vic.gov.au/victimsofcrime   They can provide over the phone assistance and referrals to useful contact services and agencies.

2.  Neighbourhood Watch:
Neighbourhood Watch encourages people to participate in the prevention of crime and to better secure their neighbourhoods. Go to the website and take a virtual tour; an interactive computer program which enables you to conduct security audits.  http://www.nhw.com.au/  and go to the Virtual Tour link