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VIC Winter Newsletter
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Apartment & Unit Owners In The Nt Urged To Review Security, As Property Crime Continues To Plague The Territory

Expert Opinion piece – Stephen Raff, CEO of Ace Body Corporate Management.

Apartment and unit owners in the NT are being urged lock down their community’s security ‘once and for all’ as crime continues to plague strata communities across the territory.

June, 2017
By Stephen Raff

With several properties located within close proximity, light fingered crooks are targeting apartments and unit complexes with the latest stats indicating a property crime is committed every hour across Darwin and Palmerston on average. The situation has deteriorated to the point where the police are considering introducing a 24/7 intelligence centre to co-ordinate faster response times to break-ins.

Crime statistics released by the police for the year ending January 31, 2017 show that in Alice Springs break-ins into commercial premises are up by 32.5%, motor vehicle thefts are up by 21.2%; and property damage is up by 17.8%.

The UK and Germany are now warning tourists of the dangers in the town. Simply put, at Ace we’re encouraging strata communities must be one step ahead when it comes to property security. When you consider how many residents collectively live in apartment and unit blocks, it’s no wonder why strata communities are being targeted. It’s important both owners corporations and owners alike start taking steps to ensure their communities are a hard nut to crack.
Poor processes, rather than poor security products are the biggest downfall in property security, and with crime on the rise, it’s time owners corporations in the Territory moved one step ahead of the game. Darwin Police have stated that many break-ins to homes seems to be people focusing on your keys and trying to steal your motor vehicle. More often than not we walk in the door and drop our keys on the table or bench, often just a couple of steps from the door.

The advice put forward by motoring groups is to treat your keys like cash, and apartment and unit managers in the Territory need to start immediately communicating this to their community. Like everything, security measures must match the needs of the strata community. There are numerous quality and effective security measures that have added value to owners’ property as wells a peace of mind that they are living in a secure environment.

In contrast Ace has observed properties with no security features at all and others with expensive security systems that have been poorly installed and bring no actual safety benefits to the strata community. Any security technology and initiatives must match the needs of a strata community. Ultimately even the most advanced and modern security system may have a weakness.

Ace is advising strata communities to have a clear blueprint for dealing with security concerns. Communities should look to have an adaptive approach rather than reactive approach when it comes to apartment security.

On a day to day basis, regularly clearing mail from letterboxes, ensuring padlocks are locked, and having some sort of monitoring like CCTV are just some of the ways owners corporations can uphold community security. On a much simpler lever however, community engagement is often one of the most effective methods to combat crime and there are some simple initiatives that strata communities can undertake.

Contact your local police department and see how they are being proactive in reducing crime in your area, as many of the concepts the police are attempting can be trialled in a strata community. Local councils can also be contacted to seek their opinion on relevant crime prevention policies in your area.

Be active in your social media pages, these pages may include important information on what to do in an emergency and warning of possible crime in your strata community.

Organise a sub-committee focusing on crime prevention in your strata community, the committee can target central issues that are causing crime in your area. For example, a community plagued by drunken loiterers may decide that it is in the community’s best interests to invest in a private security guard on weekends.

Look out for your neighbours and report any suspicious behaviour to authorities; after all crime on your neighbour’s property may also be a crime on your property when living in a strata property, so be vigilant and proactive in reducing crime.

Ace Body Corporate Management
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.Ace Body Corporate Management offers this newsletter to clients to assist in updating them on company and industry news. The content within this newsletter is of a generic nature and may not be applicable to all owners corporations. Ace Body Corporate Management attempts to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information for our clients, however we strongly recommend that individuals and committees seek further advice before acting on any information in this newsletter.