Develop a formal Security Plan

This plan formalises procedures for situations like "what do we do if we discover a stranger in the house?" through to "last person out sets the alarm". It also involves making a rough sketch of the property and marking areas that could potentially be a security risk.

The effectiveness of your security plan depends on everybody living at the site sticking to the procedures laid out in the plan, at all times. Because of this we suggest that the plan should be formulated with the involvement of all age appropriate members of the household.

It is vital that everyone "buys in" to the implementation of the procedures you agree on in your plan. That one quick trip to the shops without setting the alarm could be the very time the exploitive criminal strikes.

People are usually more willing to comply to the "rules” when they truly understand just what is at stake and that criminal activity is actually present in the area in which you live.

Understanding "just" what is at stake

It is universally recognised today is that given the opportunity burglars will not only take your belongings, but with them, they will also steal away your "peace of mind”.

Crime has significant, yet varying consequences, on individual crime victims, their families and friends, and communities. The impact of crime on victims results in emotional and psychological, physical, financial, social and spiritual consequences. Source - (National Institute of Mental Health)Replacing stolen property is often the least costly part of recovering from such a negative event as a burglary.

There are always complex and unforeseen consequences following a burglary.

The theft of calendars which indicate when you will be away from the property and other information are commonly exploited by criminals to plan future "visits” to the property.

Sophisticated thieves today steal personal records like bank statements, credit cards, and other confidential data which can have serious on-going consequences as identity theft offers the criminal world even greater rewards than stealing property.

Another trick thieves often employ is to remove a few cheques from the back of a cheque book and leave the cheque book looking as though it was untouched. The only time cheques are discovered as stolen is when a statement comes in showing that your cheques have been fraudulently used to withdraw cash from bank accounts or to purchase expensive items.

Storing jewellery in a box on top of a dressing table often leads to heartbreak as the burglar will just take the whole box. This can mean the loss of family heirlooms and other precious things that have sentimental value. These things should be hidden somewhere out of "casual site".

Something that deserves consideration is the time and distress involved in, freezing bank accounts, cancelling and then waiting for replacement licences, eftpos cards etc. etc.. These requirements add substantial tension to what is already an emotionally stressful situation.

Victims often struggle to grasp reality that the type of people who commit this type of crime are totally indifferent to the distress their activity causes the people they steal from.

While the burglar revels in the elation of having successfully "got away" with the loot, their victims are often left with dealing a range of emotions that include fear, anger, guilt, resentment, shame, grief, and mood swings. These emotions are similar to those suffered by victims of assault and other violent crimes.

The time to count the cost and take action is before the harm is done.

This is why you need a security plan.

In October 2011 the NZ Police published a report that states there were 59,361 burglaries during that fiscal year. That is nearly 163 burglaries every day or to put it another way there is a burglary in NZ every 9 minutes.


Police reports of burglaries that have occurred in your area are often published in local newspapers or you can find out more by contacting local police or neighbourhood watch group directly.

Immigrants to New Zealand cannot believe how casual Kiwis are about security. This is primarily due to the fact that the great majority of New Zealanders are simply unaware of the growing security risks people face living in a contemporary world.

The aim of this document is not scare people but rather to make people at large more aware that things have changed in New Zealand and that securing their families long term peace of mind requires strategic planning that includes the whole family and cannot be the sole responsibility of one person in a household.