Home Theft in Australia: Know the Numbers

Not only is there safety in numbers, but numbers can also provide hard evidence. Household burglary is one of the most widespread crimes in Australia. It warrants both attention and concern – a feeling shared commonly among many of the public, which is clearly demonstrated by the 36% of them who feel that their house is likely to be burgled in the following year. However, is there evidence to support this concern?

Read on to find the statistics and trends showcasing the state of home burglary and theft in Australia. This is the hard evidence for taking your home security that much more seriously.

Most commonly stolen goods

Do you know which items rank highest on a burglar’s wish list?

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), money leads the way as the most commonly stolen item (19%), closely followed by jewellery (18%), with firearms also considered desirable. Electronic items such as laptops, cameras and phones are also particularly attractive to thieving eyes. Therefore, firearms, as well as electronic goods should be stored away in sturdy safes of the highest standard to avoid theft.

Is your home high or low risk?

Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) conducted a survey of police detainees in Western Australia, highlighting factors that make a house an attractive target for thieves or conversely, a discouraging prospect.

The deterrents that were quoted by the detainees include:

  1. A dog; it doesn’t need to be big – just noisy (61.4%)
  2. A functioning alarm system (49.1%)
  3. Lights on inside the house (19.3%)
  4. Security grilles on windows and/or doors (19%)
  5. The fact that it was an unknown area to them (14%)
  6. High visibility from the road (14%)
  7. Functioning sensor lights (22.8%)
  8. The presence of gates (12.3%)

On the other hand, the factors that made burglars more confident about breaking into a house were:

  • The absence of cars in the driveway
  • Lights being switched off in the evening
  • No response to a knock on the door
  • Rubbish bins left out
  • Excessive mail in the mailbox

The common denominator in these cases was that the house appeared to be unoccupied. Furthermore, common mistakes that aided burglars were unlocked entry points such as windows and doors or leaving spare keys where they could easily be found.

Burglars indicated that the most common mistake homeowners make is to leave doors and windows open.

Burglary rates

Proof of the prevalence of residential burglary can be found on the AIC website, with a host of statistics to support. 335 700 break-ins were recorded in 2009-10. In fact, according to The International Crime Victimisation Survey (ICVS), Australia held the fifth highest rate of household burglary in a 30-country survey.

Furthermore, the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted a study that separated burglary attempts from actual burglaries. In 2011, there were 667 600 break-in incidents and 154 726 actual residential burglary victims recorded by police (ABS 2012b).

With such startling figures, it is safe to say the old saying, “Better safe than sorry” is forever relevant and should be applied. After all, nobody wants to wake up the next day or come home to find their prized possessions stolen.

Make sure to not publicise your absence; secure your home with a robust alarm system and/or burglar bars, and keep your more valuable goods locked away in a sturdy safe.


Are your valuables being kept safe? Safe Central is owned and operated by qualified lock and safe experts experienced in all aspects of the industry. If you’re looking to ensure the safe and dependable storage of your most valuable possessions, contact us today. From detailed product knowledge to market application you can rely on us for quality solutions.