Burglaries on the rise


RACV and Neighbourhood Watch are alerting business owners, including those in Sunbury and Macedon Ranges, of a 39.8 per cent increase in burglaries in 2023.

According to Crime Statistics Victoria, 25,607 offences were recorded in 2023 in comparison to 18,405 offences in 2022.

RACV head of home and business insurance Kirsty Hayes is encouraging small business owners to check that their insurance policies are up-to-date and that they have the right security in place.

“We are encouraging small business owners to install a reliable security system with surveillance cameras both inside and outside their premises,” Ms Hayes said.

“[They should also] ensure that the exterior of their business is well-lit and use motion sensor lights that activate with movement for the interior.

“Simple actions can also help deter theft such as putting display signs indicating the presence of security systems and that cash is not kept on the premises.”

Neighbourhood Watch chief executive Bambi Gordon said that cash, tobacco, alcohol, and personal property are the items most likely to be stolen from a small business retailer.

“Get to know your business neighbours,” Ms Gordon said.

“Engaging with your local business community can be a powerful preventative measure as when people come together as a community, they not only feel safer, they’re safer.

“Make a start by reaching out to your neighbouring businesses and connect via a private Facebook Group or WhatsApp to help you stay in touch, keep an eye out for one another and report any suspicious behaviour to police.

“You can also consider forming a Neighbourhood Watch business group for mutual support and shared strategies.”

RACV recommends businesses do an audit of their premises and staff practices so they can help to better protect their assets and overall safety including staying vigilant with locks, keys and codes.

Business owners may also want to investigate optional insurance covers tailored to your business, such as additional cover for portable property or to help cover the loss of any money or goods.