Property crime is one of the most common crimes in Australia. There are many causes of property crime including poverty and drug addiction. One of the primary causes is inadequate security including lack of alarm systems. Effective home security systems can combat property crime.

Four major causes of property crime are;

  • Inadequate security
  • Poverty
  • Substance abuse
  • Peer Group Pressure

1. Lack of Security Causes Property Crime

In 2002, almost 5% of Australian households had experienced property crime. Most of these crimes occurred in premises that had inefficient security. Police reported that in many cases windows or doors had been unlocked or alarm systems were inactive.

Property crime is opportunistic. Burglars will target homes that have little or no security. They also enter homes that appear unoccupied. These places are chosen because there is little chance of apprehension. The installation of home security systems can reduce the risk of home intrusion, because it deters criminals and leads to higher rates of apprehension.

2. Poverty Can Cause Property Crime

A 2002 study found that property crime is more common in areas where unemployment is around 10%. This indicates that there is a correlation between crime and poverty. When people on lower incomes see objects such as power tools or electronic items in a freely accessible area, such as an unlocked garage, they are more likely to steal the items. People on comfortable wages are less likely to steal in similar circumstances. The combination of poverty with opportunity leads to property crime.

3. Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a major cause of home intrusion and burglary. People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will steal to gain funds to fuel their addiction. Car theft and home invasion are commonly linked to substance abuse.

In addition, drug and alcohol addiction leads to lowering of inhibitions and isolation from mainstream social standards. The combination of physical need for a drug with low social conformity will encourage criminal activity.

4. Peer Group Pressure

Most people found guilty of property crime are men aged 15-24. Many of the teenagers in this group could be drawn to crime due to peer group pressure. The need to belong to group as a teenager is immense. Added to this is the desire to keep up with latest trends in clothing, footwear and gadgets. As society becomes more materialistic, the pressure on young people is more intense. The desperation for acceptance can lead to them stealing items to ensure it. Thus peer group pressure can cause criminal activity.

There are many causes of property crime. These include poverty, peer group pressure, substance abuse and opportunism. A good security system can reduce property crime. Simple tools such as insuring all doors and windows are locked can also prevent robbery. Burglary is one of the most common of all crimes in Australia. A holistic approach to its prevention can decrease its frequency and lead to safer environments for home owners and business people.