Source: The Mercury, 23 March, 1998, p.3


Security hit in high state burglary rate

 
 
By MARGARETTA POS 
TASMANIA had the 
highest reported rate 
of theft from homes 
in Australia last year 
- for the second 
year in a row. 
 
And the hardest hit 
are young people aged 20 
to 24, suffering almost 
half of all reported 
break-ins. 
 
These are key findings 
from research by AAMI. 
 
The insurance giant 
found there were an av- 
erage 13 home insurance 
theft claims per 1000 
policies in Tasmania in 
1997. 
 
However, this was 
down on the record 1996 
level of 14. 
 
Tasmania was closely 
followed last year by 
southern Queensland 
(12.7 claims per 1000 
policies), Victoria (11) 
and NSW (9.7). The re- 
search did not include 
Western Australia or the 
Northern Territory. 
 
AAMI state manager 
James Merchant said in 
Hobart yesterday Tas- 
manians were not secur- 
ity conscious. He said 
that in 68.8% of reported 
burglaries in Tasmania 
last year, thieves en- 
tered through windows. 
 
"That's the highest 
rate in Australia," he 
said. 
 
On the other hand, at 
28.1%, Tasmania had 
the lowest rate of thieves 
entering through doors 
-many of them open. 
 
"Tasmania has one of 
the lowest installation 
rates of window locks 
and deadlocks in houses 
that were burgled, leav- 
ing people unnecessarily 
vulnerable with inad- 
equate security meas- 
ures," he said. "Only 49% 
of burgled homes had 
deadlocks while a low 
20% had window locks." 
 
Mr Merchant said 
Tasmanians could re- 
duce the incidence of 
burglary by installing 
deadlocks and security 
screen doors, and by 
locking garages and gar- 
den sheds. 
 
"It only takes an aver- 
age three minutes to 
burgle a house, maybe 
while the owner is 
watering the garden," he 
said. 
 
Deadlocked doors re- 
stricted escape routes for 
thieves, forcing them to 
leave by windows, risk- 
ing injury or detection. 
 
But he warned people 
not to deadlock doors 
when they were at home. 
 
"Deadlocks can make 
it difficult for people to 
leave their homes in 
emergencies, such as 
fire," he said. 
 
The research found 
that one in three bur- 
glaries occurred when 
people were at work, one 
in four when they were 
at home, and about one 
in five when people were 
on holiday. 
 
It also found that the 
20-24 age group was 
most vulnerable, with 
46% of all reported 
break-ins, the highest 
rate in the nation. 
 
It was a trend 
Australia-wide, with an 
average 35.8 claims per 
1000 policies last year 
up from 28.5 in 1996.


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