THE summer holidays are a time for relaxing and enjoying the company of friends and family.
Unfortunately, it is also a time when break-ins spike as burglars take advantage of the fact people leave their houses open because of the heat or leave to go away on holiday.
Most break ins are from opportunists looking to take something they can use or re-gift, so there are a number of simple things you can do to reduce the risk that your house will be targeted.
Don’t leave empty boxes outside, they advertise you have new goods (also a good tip for after Christmas).
Remember to lock flyscreens and front doors even when you are home.
Don’t have expensive goods that can easily be seen from your front windows (most burglars have not planned to burgle but see the opportunity and take it!) – think jewellery on dressing tables or Christmas presents under the tree that are clearly visible from the street.
Most opportunistic burglars don’t want to be detected so don’t risk properties with high activity and have told us in our research projects that they stay away from areas where neighbours are around!
So Christmas is a great opportunity to get to know your neighbours, be active and aware in your street and ensure the burglars go elsewhere.
You could also get neighbours to agree to take your parcel deliveries if they are going to be home and you’re not (otherwise opt to pick up from Australia post).
By following these tips you can hopefully avoid a break-in marring what is supposed to a happy and relaxing time of year.
• Dr Natalie Gately is a criminologist in Edith Cowan University’s School of Arts and Humanities.