Victorians are being prompted by RACV and Neighbourhood Watch Victoria (NHV) to secure their homes more diligently and ensure that their home insurance is up to date following the latest statistics from the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency. The numbers make clear that property and deception offences, such as burglary and theft, have surged by 15.6 per cent in the last year to 272,790.
Lamenting the frequency with which theft victims find their insurance inadequate, Kirsty Hayes, RACV’s Head of Home and Business Insurance, stresses the significance of maintaining current and comprehensive coverage. “It’s essential to check that your home insurance is up to date, with an adequate level of cover,” she advises.
RACV’s own claims data adds to the concern, showing that in the past two years, nearly 57 per cent of car key burglaries have occurred within victims’ homes. Hayes suggests homeowners use online tools to estimate costs for repairing or replacing contents and recommends an array of security products, from RACV’s alarms and smart home technologies to CCTV.
Joining the safety advocacy, NHV CEO Bambi Gordon highlights the habitual nature of property crimes, underscoring the need for proactive defense strategies. “The frustrating fact is that we need to do better at protecting our properties – a home is burgled in Victoria every 20 minutes and a third of those burglaries are opportunistic and don’t even require forced entry,” Gordon reveals.
The CEO champions the power of community solidarity for enhancing safety, noting the historical success of the NHV initiative which began in 1983. Now, the NHV is expanding its reach by translating its ‘How Safe is My Place’ website into Chinese, Punjabi, and Vietnamese, facilitating access for CALD communities.
According to Gordon, the benefits of such inclusive endeavors are manifold: “By translating How Safe is My Place into languages other than English, we are making our advice more accessible and supporting people to engage with their neighbours and us.”
Gordon urges Victorians to establish and participate in local NHV groups, underscoring their value in crime prevention. Moreover, simple preventive actions, such as locking doors and hiding valuables, can make significant differences.
For those interested, local NHV groups can be found at www.nhw.com.au/groups, and information on starting a new group is available on the website. Details regarding RACV Home Security Systems can also be found online, helping Victorians take practical steps toward safeguarding their properties.