What is the Difference Between a Burglary and a Home Invasion?
Everybody hopes never to face a distressing situation like a break-in. Unfortunately, approximately 20% of all Australian homes have been robbed. That’s not exactly the far-fetched odds you’d hope to hear; however, knowing what’s out there is the best way to secure your home effectively. According to a 2020 Victorian report, 54,200 houses experienced a break-in that year, with an additional 39,200 households reporting an intended attack. The severity of the type of break-in can vary from a minor burglary to aggravated home invasion, and it is essential to understand what you are protecting yourself from when considering security features in your home. Burglaries and home invasions are both distressing situations but can differ in the crime’s location, intent, and severity.
According to Australian legislation, burglaries and home invasions have slightly different definitions, although both involve unlawful entry with intent to steal. The two crimes have devastating monetary and emotional effects on the victims. Protecting your family and home is the most critical decision you will probably make and weighing up safety features should be at the forefront of all homeowners’ minds. Windows and doors are consistently the most common ways burglars enter the house, so installing high-quality security doors and windows is the best security decision you will make. In 2021, 47% of Victorians reported using security doors as part of their defenses against home invaders. Jim’s Security Door Melbourne best range of doors, all of which have exceeded the Australian Standard Regulations. You’ll have absolute assurance knowing that one of Jim’s Security Doors will hold up against any potential perpetrator. For more information you can also contact our friendly staff for security doors as well as for Property Conveyancing Brisbane to consult with the best lawyers and solicitors.
In Victoria, burglary falls under section 76 of the Crimes Act 1958. Burglaries are defined as breaking and entering into a number of different locations, including cars, offices, residential homes, retail spaces, and more. Another scary fact to chew on – one-fifth of all reported crimes in Australia is burglary. An offender has committed a burglary as soon as he has unlawfully entered a property with the intent to steal something. Aggravated burglary is the same crime, with the addition of the burglar carrying a weapon. In Aussie slang, the term burglary is often used interchangeably with ‘robbery’.
If you’re confused about the difference between home invasions and burglaries, there is a significant amount of overlap between the two crimes. The easiest way to think of it is that all home invasions would also count as burglary, but not all burglaries are home invasions. Home invasions are breaking and entering a personal residence with the intent to take belongings. Aggravated home invasions are the offender entering a house they know is occupied, carrying a weapon, or committing an act of violence.
Securing your home
You can do several things to help keep yourself, your family, and your home safe from burglaries and home invasions. These can include:
- Sensor lights on front and back entrances. For minor criminals looking for an easy break-in, something as simple as this could be enough to spook them away.
- Guard dogs. Having a dog can be a great security feature as it can also help protect you outside of the house, or protect your home when you’re not there. Indications that a dog lives in your, such as signs on the fence or dog doors, will make break-in and enterers think twice.
- Security doors. The majority of burglars/home invaders enter through the door. Jim’s Security Doors products all exceed Australian standards regulations, which require the doors to be rigorously tested against simulated forced entry.
- Security alarms. A piercing security alarm would pretty quickly scare away any home intruder.
- Neighborhood watch. An active neighborhood watch will help lower robbery rates in your community, which has the carry-over effect of your suburb becoming safer.
- Tall and secure fences. Having a formidable entry/exit method will deter potential intruders from attempting to rob your home.
- Visible cameras will deter potential burglars as they know you will submit footage to the police to help track down the perpetrators.
- screens on windows. Jim’s Security Doors’ offer a range of security solutions for your windows, helping to barricade the other common entry point robbers use.
What should I do if I experience a home invasion or burglary?
In both cases, the advice is relatively the same. If you ever need to contact the police when someone is currently in your house carrying out the crime, you must call 000 immediately. If you are reporting the crime after it has occurred, your first action should be to contact the police – you can visit or ring your local station. You can also report missing items up to $5000 on the Victoria police website. The police do not offer monetary compensation for stolen items; however, if you have insurance on your home and contents, you should be able to claim that.