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Canberra Today 1°/6° | Monday, May 20, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Security rebate offers $550 to combat property crime

 

“Canberra’s struggle with property-related crime, though slightly abated, still presents a substantial challenge for the region,” said Maria Bennett, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia.

With property-related offences remaining at concerning levels in Canberra, crime-prevention advocate Neighbourhood Watch Australasia has launched a security upgrade rebate program aimed at empowering residents to safeguard their properties.

The Target Hardening Support Offer provides Canberra residents a $550 rebate for the purchase and installation of approved security enhancements such as locks, security lighting, surveillance cameras, and security screens. Eligibility extends to those impacted by burglary since January 2022, reflecting a targeted approach to reinforce the defences of homes most at risk.

The latest ACT police records show there were 3445 property damage related offences in 2023* (3556 in 2022). There were 1938 burglaries in 2023 (1973 in 2022) and 7092 thefts in 2023 (7505 in 2022).

Maria Bennett, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia, said despite a modest decline in criminal activities, the statistics still paint a concerning picture of the state of home security.

“Canberra’s struggle with property-related crime, though slightly abated, still presents a substantial challenge for the region,” she said.

“We see this initiative as a small beacon of hope, offering residents a tangible way to enhance their home security and be proactive about protecting their property and family.”

“Some of the most impacted suburbs for burglary, defined as the unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit an offence, where the entry is either forced or unforced, in 2023 were the inner north (440), Belconnen (418) and Tuggeranong (246).**

“While the $550 may not cover the entirety of one’s security needs, it serves as a foundational step towards deterring potential burglars with things like new robust door locks, security screens and security cameras for example. Our goal is to help decrease the
likelihood of homes being targeted by enhancing the security features.

“This rebate is more than just financial assistance; every step a resident takes towards improving home security diminishes the likelihood of them becoming a target for criminals.”

The officer in charge of ACT Policing Operations Insp Elizabeth Swain welcomed the initiative.

“In the ACT, we do see offenders re-targeting a residence because they’ve been there before and they know what they can steal. However, offenders are opportunistic and looking for the easiest way to get inside, be that an open door, open window or unlocked car,” she said.

“The most effective deterrent is to make it difficult for offenders to get into your home. All the small things added together can make your home safer.”

Applications close on May 31, so residents are being urged to take advantage and prioritise their home security by visiting nhwa.com.au/TargetHardening

Unfortunately, in most instances people don’t take action to improve the security of their home after an incident, believing it won’t happen again. Prevention is the key, which is why Neighbourhood Watch is championing this this program.

LAURIE BLACKALL, president Neighbourhood Watch ACT, answers some common questions:

Can you tell us more about the local crime figures?
While crime rates have dropped a little the current statistics from ACT police still highlight a concerning level of property-related crimes. A significant number of households are still being impacted highlighting the need for enhanced home security measures.

Why are people at risk?
Unfortunately, in most instances people don’t take action to improve the security of their home after an incident, believing it won’t happen again. Prevention is the key, which is way Neighbourhood Watch is championing this this program.

How will the Target Hardening Support Offer help people fortify their homes?
The Target Hardening Support Offer is an incentive for people, who have been burgled since January 2022, to improve the security in their homes. People can apply for a $550 rebate for approved security enhancements such as locks, sensor lighting, surveillance cameras, and security screens. All of these simple prevention measures that can make a home less of an
easy target.

What are your top tips for improving home security?
1. Upgrade to more secure locks on your exterior doors and windows where possible.
2. Consider installing high quality security screens on doors and windows, that can’t be easily damaged.
3. Be smart about key storage – never leave under the doormat for example or just inside the front door! Not in an obvious spot.
4. Install security cameras at key access points.
5. Know your neighbours.

Where can Australians go to find out more?
People have until May 31 to go to our website nhwa.com.au/TargetHardening and apply for the rebate.

*policenews.act.gov.au/crime-statistics-and-data/crime-statistics

**policenews.act.gov.au/crime-statistics-and-data/crime-statistics

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

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