Australian Burglary Statistics to Keep You Safe in 2021

break in statistics

Coming home and finding the place ransacked, with precious valuables missing, is the stuff of nightmares. Or worse yet, sleeping peacefully and hearing a strange noise in the house—is it the cat or a burglar!?

If you think it could never happen to you, you may be surprised by how common of a crime a house break in actually is. Therefore, if you want to make sure that you aren’t locking the barn door after the horse has bolted, so to speak, read these helpful tips and gripping crime stats in Australia.

Let’s check them out!

Arresting Facts About Home Burglary in Australia

  • Approximately 2.4% of Australian households were burgled in 2019-2020.
  • In 2019-20, 71% of households had belongings stolen during a house break-in.
  • 173,344 victims of robbery were recorded nationwide in 2019.
  • The house robbery rate in NSW declined by 22.9% in the two years to December 2020.
  • Reduced activity around the premises increases the risk for a house robbery the most.
  • A barking dog is the best safeguard against attempted break-ins.
  • One-quarter of property stolen consists of personal items.
  • 35% of Aussies leave a spare key outside their home.
  • 55% of surveyed victims of robbery didn’t own a security system.
  • An unoccupied-seeming house is the most enticing to a burglar.

Home Burglary Statistics in Australia 

1. Approximately 2.4% of Australian households were burgled in 2019-2020.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

This rate remained consistent over the previous year when roughly 238,100 Aussie homes were broken into as well. For 75% of them, it was an isolated incident. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the poorest neighborhoods were more likely to experience a house robbery (3.1%) than the richest ones (2.1%).

2. In 2019-20, roughly 1.9% of households faced an attempted house break in.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Burglars tried to make their way into 185,100 Australian homes in 2019-2020. The attempted home invasion rate kept steady from the previous year at 1.9%. For most or 73% of these households, it was a one-off event.

Again, the most disadvantaged areas were almost twice as likely to be targets of attempted break ins (2.7% vs 1.4%) than the most privileged ones. Furthermore, attempted break in rates were slightly higher outside capital cities than in them (2.2% vs 1.7%).

3. Nearly three-quarters of burgled households reported the incident to the police.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

About 175,000 or 74% of households that went through break ins in 2019-2020 reported the unfortunate events to the authorities, similarly to the year before, when 77% of affected homes called the police.

Far fewer or about 40% of attempted house robbery victims decided to file a report. That makes up roughly 74,000 Aussie homes and was a 4% reduction from 2018-19.

4. In 2019-20, 71% of households had belongings stolen during a house break in.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

While 23% of Oz households considered an attempted house break in too trivial to report, 16% thought the police wouldn’t be of any help, so it was no use calling them. However, 28,000 of the targeted homes had someone brave stand up to the burglar. 

Further, 168,600 households lost belongings during a burglary, while 113,200 or 48% suffered property damage.

5. 173,344 victims of robbery were recorded nationwide in 2019.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The tally of unlawful entry victims in 2019 went up by 5,294 or 3% over the prior year. The biggest rise in cases of 8% was documented in Queensland at 3,079 individuals. Next were Victoria (3%) and Western Australia (4%), with 1,157 and 1,066 more people, respectively. Most or 72% of these break ins took place at a residence, totaling 214,046 affected individuals.

Australian Crime Statistics by State

6. The house robbery rate in NSW declined by 22.9% in the two years to December 2020.

(NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research)

19,658 break and enter dwelling incidents were recorded by the New South Wales Police in the calendar year of 2020, making that 5,851 fewer than 2019’s 25,509.

When it comes to Sydney crime statistics, the rate of such offenses in the city’s greater area shrunk by a quarter between 2018 and 2020. The break in crime rate in Sydney per 100,000 people in 2020 was 0.7, amounting to a total of 9,489 individual cases.

7. There were 33,242 cases of burglary in Victoria in 2020.

(Crime Statistics Agency Victoria)

In comparison to 2019, when 41,832 home invasions were reported, burglary statistics in Victoria noted a substantial drop in this type of offence in 2020. Furthermore, 39,065 households had property damaged that year.

8. A total of 25,065 cases of unlawful entry were reported in Queensland in 2019-20.

(Queensland Government)

The rate of unlawful entries in Qld remained pretty consistent over 2018-2019, with an uptick of 513 instances or 2.1%. However, just 6,724 or 26.8% of these cases were cleared within the year.

If you live in Townsville, you might want to invest heavily in house security since 2,826 of the total cases were reported there in 2019-2020, making this city one of the burglary hotspots, alongside Cairns with 2,376 and Logan – Beaudesert with 2,337.

9. WA saw 10,564 breaking and entering instances in 2020-2021.

(Western Australia Police Force)

The recent declining crime trend is also on display in Western Australia, where in the year to June 2021, dwelling burglaries more than halved from the previous year’s 21,183. The situation with non-dwelling break ins was similar, going down to 3,595 from 6,695 in 2020-21. Instances of property damage, in turn, shrunk by about a quarter, from 27,345 to 19,300 within a year.

10. South Australia recorded 35% fewer cases of serious residential trespass in 2020.

(South Australia Police) (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

In the decade to 2017-2018, South Australia’s victimisation rates for several household crimes declined—the house break in rate to 2% and that of attempted break ins to 1.9%. With only 5,498 cases registered in 2020, a steep drop is evident from 2019, when 8,495 incidents had occurred.

The latest available data on the Adelaide crime rate shows 597 total offences in March 2021. There were only 9 cases of home invasion in Adelaide during this time.

11. 69% of offences against property in Tasmania in 2019-20 consisted of burglary and theft.

(Tasmania Police)

Building burglaries in Tas saw a decrease of 6% in 2019-2020, following a 9% surge the prior year. The total cases (3,264) contracted by 200 in comparison to 2018-2019 (3,464). Residential locations were most commonly affected at 62%, whereas 14% of break ins happened at retail locations.

12. The ACT saw a 12.2% drop in burglary cases in 2019-2020.

(ACT Police) (Australian Federal Police)

According to crime stats in Australia for the financial year of 2019-20, there were 17,525 offences against property reported to the Australian Capital Territory Police, an annual drop of 2,429 cases.

2,292 of the reported cases in 2019-20 were burglaries, a downtick of 335 from 2018-19. Dwelling burglaries accounted for most of the reports at 1,363 in 2019-2020, 17.8% fewer than the previous year.

The ACT Police’s latest quarterly report on January-March 2021, in turn, shows 7,791 burglary offences reported in the nation’s capital.

13. 25.8% fewer house break ins happened in the Northern Territory in 2020-2021.

(NT Police Force)

2020 was definitely unlucky for many, including the NT Police Force, which observed a total of 1,970 house break ins in the year to April 2021. Nevertheless, a decline of 685 cases is apparent year-over-year. Commercial break ins also recorded a drop of 28.46% from 2,168 to 1,551 reported cases within the same year.

Home Burglary Facts

14. Reduced activity around the premises increases the risk for a house robbery the most. 

(Budget Direct)

Interviewed convicts pinpointed two motives for breaking and entering a home: low activity around a household and the property’s appeal. As most attractive targets burglars cited:

  • Houses with expensive cars on display.
  • Homes located in upscale neighbourhoods.
  • Properties with valuable possessions visible in a yard, from a door or through a window.

15. Open doors and windows were the biggest mistakes made by targeted residents.

(Budget Direct)

The Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) survey participants who had broken home invasion laws in Australia identified some of the most frequent miscalculations made by robbed households.

70% of the prisoners said that leaving a door or window open was a fatal error. With 40% of answers, the respondents agreed that homes with minimal house security were easy targets. 25% considered easily accessible backyards to be a common oversight among households.

12% of the interviewees advised finding a better hiding spot for your key than under the doormat. Finally, having fake house alarms (8%), environmental design (5%), and skylights (2%) were perceived to be some of the minor mistakes.

16. A barking dog is the best safeguard against attempted break ins.

(Budget Direct)

The offenders provided some interesting responses when asked what would make them decide against a house break in:

  • A loud dog, regardless of size (61.4%).
  • A proper alarm system (49.1%).
  • Working sensor lights (22.8%).
  • Homes with the lights on (19.3%).
  • Windows and doors with installed grilles (19%).
  • Being in an unfamiliar area (14%).
  • The property being visible from the road (14%).
  • Placement of gates (12.3%).

17. The most popular break-in points are unlocked doors.

(Budget Direct)

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, the most common points of entry during break ins are the following:

  • An unlocked door (40%).
  • A broken door or window (35%).
  • An unlocked window (28%).
  • A picked/broken lock (20%).
  • Other (15%).

 What Do Burglars Love Stealing the Most?

18. One-quarter of property stolen consists of personal items.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

In 2019-2020, home invasion statistics in Australia showed that perpetrators went gaga over personal items such as bags, clothing, and jewellery. 59,000 households were missing such possessions. 

It’s no surprise that cash is another favourite of burglars. 19% or 46,200 of robbed homes had their wallets and purses emptied or taken.

However, one thing that probably doesn’t come to mind when thinking of a house robbery is losing tools. Well, it turns out that 17% or 40,500 of burgled homes found themselves a little less handy in 2019-20. So much for those pandemic home improvement projects, huh?

Behaviours and Attitudes

19. 35% of Aussies leave a spare key outside their home.

(Budget Direct)

According to Australia crime statistics, the younger population usually tends to take the risk of leaving spare keys outside more often than older people. As one might expect, those who had experienced break ins were more likely to have left a key outside for the burglar to help themselves to. Doormats and plant pots were the most predictable hiding spots.

20. 58.7% of queried Australians allowed package deliveries outside their property.

(Budget Direct)

If you’re one of the many online shopping addicts, keep in mind that packages left outside are a magnet for thieves. A burglar won’t need to bother breaking and entering if you leave a parcel unattended. A much safer option would be to make the trip to the post office or have a trusted neighbour or friend receive it instead.

21. 55% of surveyed victims of robbery didn’t own a security system.

(Budget Direct)

After going through a house robbery, 24.3% of victims decided to optimise their house security by installing one, with younger people being more likely to do so.

An insufficient 29.6% of all homes in Australia have a functional security system in place. A fifth of the respondents didn’t have one because they thought their neighbourhood was safe. On the other hand, 42.2% of surveyed Aussies didn’t think house security was necessary or considered such systems an unworthy investment.

22. 35.7% of Aussies believe that fake security cameras sufficiently deter a burglary.

(Budget Direct)

A quarter of people with security systems were of the opinion that a dummy camera worked well enough as a disincentive anyway. Younger renters were more inclined to assume that this visual deterrent would keep burglars at bay. Younger people also tended to think a sign warning of a guard dog would change a robber’s mind, while 46.6% of all participants in the study reckoned the same.

23. Renters are three times less likely to install a house security system than homeowners.

(Budget Direct)

  • According to a survey, 21% of people who had a house security system installed were homeowners, as opposed to just 7.7% of renters. Furthermore, the latter were much less likely to have home and contents insurance at 15.8%, while 53% of homeowners did.
  • 38.8% of homeowners without security systems stated that they didn’t have them because of the cost or considered them an unnecessary purchase, as did 46.5% of renters.
  • Fewer or just 13% of renters left a spare key to their residence outside, compared to 21% of homeowners.
  • Lastly, a substantial 69.4% of the respondents said that they had contents insurance. However, 22% of them were unsure about whether it’d properly cover their belongings in a case of a house robbery.

Burglary in the Time of Covid

24. NSW’s residential break ins dropped by 29% after the coronavirus spread.

(NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research)

Australian police services recorded significantly fewer burglary offences after the Covid-19 pandemic started in early 2020 and containment measures were put in place. Other crime stats in NSW also saw a reduction. In 15 March – 26 April, 2020, non-residential break ins went down 25%, robberies shrunk by 42%, while there were 55% fewer cases of retail theft.

25. Burglaries in Queensland peaked at 90.9 per 100,000 people in March 2020. 

(Queensland Government)

By June 2020, however, Queensland’s recorded rate of unlawful entries with intent had more than halved to 45.4. The state hadn’t seen such a low June rate of this type of offence in 10 years and expected it to be 87.1.

How to Prevent a Home Invasion

26. An unoccupied-seeming house is the most enticing to a burglar.

(Budget Direct)

If you want to avoid getting burgled, here are some tips based on interviews with actual robbers.

1) Ensure that your home doesn’t appear empty, as burglars are more likely to target it for a house robbery.

2) If you don’t have any vehicles parked in the driveway, thieves might be eyeing your house, assuming no one is there.

3) Should you have a habit of turning off all the lights when you go to sleep or out for the evening, try leaving at least one on to avoid night invasions.

4) Always keep your mailbox tidy. Overflowing ones may tip off burglars that nobody’s home. The same thing goes for bins left out on the kerb.

5) Ensure that every household member locks all windows and doors before going anywhere or to bed.

What to Do If Your Home Is Broken Into

27. Leave the premises and call the police.

(Safewise)

Should you be lucky enough to hear the burglars on time or suspect a house break in, it’d be best to sneak out and leave the house to avoid confrontation, exposing yourself to even greater danger. Next, call the police if you have access to a phone. Whatever you do, don’t go back into the house to make the call. As a matter of fact, touch nothing.

28. Find a safe spot and wait.

(Safewise)

Break ins can be terrifying, especially night invasions. Quickly look for a secure place you can hide in until the police arrive. You can go to your neighbours’ house or lock yourself in your car. While you’re there, scan the surroundings for inconsistencies. Trust your gut and take note of any suspicious cars or individuals around your home.

29. Make a list of the stolen possessions.

(Safewise)

Take stock of what’s missing when the authorities arrive. Make sure to include a detailed description and the value of the property stolen. If you know the serial numbers of any electronic devices, write them down and provide some drawings where possible.

Snap some pictures of any property damage, such as broken doors, windows or furniture. Being thorough and specific is always a plus if you want to file an insurance claim.

If you saw a person running away, list all features you can remember, such as their clothing, age, or sex. Anything that could help the police identify the perp would be of great help.

30. Contact your insurance company.

(Safewise)

Proper compensation is possible if you file an insurance claim. Just call within 24 hours of the event, after you’ve reported all necessary info about the house robbery to the authorities. The insurance company will need it to process the claim.

Insurance companies often send a claims adjuster to check out the damage personally. Be sure to stay somewhere else until they’ve inspected the property damage to avoid any accidental tampering with evidence.

31. Roll the video footage back.

(Safewise)

Having a security camera installed gives you a great advantage. Check the video material of the house break in and hand it over to the police and/or insurance company as proof for further investigation. You can also spot any flaws in your house security while watching it and work on correcting them.

32. Keep an eye on your children or pets.

(Safewise)

Take any opportunity to leave the kids with a friend or a relative until your house has been tidied up. Cases of breaking and entering can take a psychological toll on children of any age, painting an unsafe picture of their home.

As extremely sensitive beings, pets can be equally disturbed by traumatic occurrences such as a house robbery. Spend a little more quality time with your furry friends to give them a sense of security.

33. Get rid of all traces of the house break in.

(Safewise)

Cleaning up the mess means less stress, so if possible, have a friend come over to help you get your home back in order. Should you come across an unfamiliar item, send it to the police. It may help them identify the burglar faster.

34. Enhance your house security. 

(Safewise)

Thinking about how to secure your home may be mentally taxing, but it can save you a lot of grief in the long run. Not everything you read or hear will be effective when it comes to avoiding a house break in, but taking things up a notch won’t hurt.

Allow us to give you a few ideas:

  • Set up motion sensor lights around the premises.
  • Put up a dog warning sign even if you don’t own one.
  • Get a fake security camera.
  • Improve your garage door’s security.
  • Install a fence.

Before You Make a Dash for the Door

A house break-in is undoubtedly a profoundly disturbing event for all victims. Now that we’ve gone through the essential home invasion statistics in Australia, as well as shared some practical tips against those with sticky fingers, we’re confident you can avoid the most common mistakes that get people’s homes burgled.
Hopefully, our insights have shown you the importance of having a good security system, made you more aware of personal crimes in Oz, and given you invaluable advice on how to protect yourself. Stay safe!

Sources:

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