The following information has been reproduced with permission from the book
 ‘RURAL‘ (R U Ready for A Life Change), page 100, by author Bernie Webb.

RURAL-Security.pdf (PDF 220KB)

Opportunistic thieves who walk around on foot looking for somewhere to break in to, are less likely to be wandering around in a neighbourhood of large properties, five acres or more in size, simply because of the distance involved and the fewer likely targets there will be compared to walking around in suburbia.  Having said that the older type housebreakers who have access to a car, or simply just steal a car, will still be casing the area for likely targets.  So the best we can do is stay friendly with the neighbours, think positive and take some necessary precautions:

  • As mentioned previously in ‘Rural Living – Keep Gates Shut’ it is much safer to leave your gate shut all the time, even when you are home . Undesirables up to no good are less likely to drive up a drive if they have to stop and open a gate.
  • Having a dog, or even better, two dogs is a great deterrent and likewise the baddies are more likely to try another property without dogs. Geese make very good ‘watchdogs’ as well, especially a full size male goose, they can be quite intimidating even if they are your own.
  • Personally I doubt the effectiveness of an alarm system, maybe with the close proximity of houses in suburbia they may be useful, but out in special rural and rural areas they probably won’t be heard by anyone. I have my doubts about monitored alarms as well.  Unless the monitoring company are going to despatch their own security guys or the police, in pretty quick time (I don’t think so), they are going to be fairly ineffectual as well.  Sure, they will contact you and inform you that your premises may have been broken into but you are going to find that out when you get home anyway!  I was once on the bottom of the list of ‘who to call if an alarm went off’ for one of my neighbours about 500 m up the road.  On the couple of occasions that I was contacted by the security company and informed of an alarm situation (always at night), I attended the property very cautiously wondering exactly what was I going to do on my own, if anyone had broken in?
  • Having your residence and outbuildings reasonably visible from the street will deter some of the low-lives from poking around but certainly not all.
  • I know a lot of you don’t like to do it, but keeping everything locked is going to help, there’s no point handing it to the burglars on a plate!
  • Don’t leave items lying around outside that could assist a burglar to break in, e.g. ladders, gardening tools etc.
  • Having a ‘hot’ wire from an electric fence unit running around the top of the external fences still won’t stop the ‘determined types’ but will certainly stop or at least slow, most of the ‘casual opportunistic types’ who may consider jumping the fence.
  • We keep all our external doors locked after sunset and once we have retired indoors, the last thing we want is some unknown person walking in unannounced while we are watching TV or worse still after we have gone to bed at night. This is also where a dog or dogs who sleep outside adjacent to the house are a great asset.
  • Varying the times that you leave your property, in other words be less predictable, will put off anyone watching your movements and trying to build up a pattern of when your property is occupied and when it is not.
  • All our outside lights have movement sensors fitted to them, making it virtually impossible to approach the house from any direction without activating at least one light.
  • Keep your electricity meter box locked and fitted with an approved viewing window.
  • Fit all opening windows with security screens so that the windows can be safely left open when required i.e. letting the cooling night breezes flow through the house in summer.

I have heard of quite a few properties that have been burgled and then burgled again a few months later.  The logic of this is that after the first burglary a lot of the stolen items are replaced by insurance.  Burglars are expecting this, so after an appropriate amount of time they burgle the same place again, not only knowing what they are likely to lay their hands on but that the items will probably be brand new as an added bonus. The new goods may even still be in the original packaging!

Record the Incident/Vehicle/Person

If you see any vehicles hanging around in your street for no particular reason, make a note of:

  1. The date and time.
  2. Description of vehicle, make, type, colour, rego number, any distinguishing features.
  3. Descriptions of occupant/s, race, sex, age, build, any distinguishing features.
  4. Length of time parked up, any reappearances.

Should you witness the same vehicle on more than one occasion either parked up or cruising the street, it would probably be worthwhile reporting the details to your nearest police station.  They may already be aware of the vehicle and your information may forewarn them of the next possible target.

The same applies to any persons hanging around or up to no good. Here is an easy way to remember all the descriptive features, just remember – NABHECTOR;

  • N             a Name called by an accomplice (male or female)
  • A             a person’s approximate Age (children, teenagers or adults)
  • B              a person’s general Build
  • H             approximate Height (compared to another object if you can)
  • E              Eye colour
  • C              Complexion
  • T              Thatch or hair colour and length
  • O             Oddities such as lisp, walk, manner of speech, Tattoos, scars. jewellery – such as earrings
  • R              Rig – what clothes they wore.

Security Cameras

Probably the most effective tool we have available, not only a deterrent when used in conjunction with warning signage but also provides evidence for prosecution should there be a burglary. Please read our dedicated topic on Security Cameras.