Thieves go commercial

BREAK-INS at commercial properties is growing at almost twice the rate as that for residential premises, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

ABS’s Recorded Crime in Australia report shows that in the past several years unlawful entry with intent to steal have been worse for non-residential premises than residential.

SGIO State manager Garry Moore said the ABS data showed that in the past decade the levels of residential break, enter and steal had declined but non-residential premises including commercial and community sector properties had increased.

Commercial non-residential incidents are three times the levels of community non-residential incidents.

The growth rate in non-residential break and enters in Australia from 1997 to 1998 was 5.8 per cent – substantially higher than the growth in residential break and enters at 3.5 per cent.

“So while Australian home owners have continued to improve their awareness of crime prevention and have reduced their vulnerability to property crime risk in the last two years, the same cannot be said of the business owners,” Mr Moore said.

“Business owners can only address growth rates in commercial property crime through a sustained effort to improve awareness of and investment in adequate property security measures.

“Businesses and other premises where valuables or money are stored are in some cases more vulnerable to burglars than homes, especially after hours in areas where there’s no-one around to notice anything suspicious.”

He said insuring a business against property loss and damage was just a start.

“Crimes like these can be devastating for a small business, because of disruption to the business and cash flow,” Mr Moore said.

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