A HOUSE was broken into almost every second day in the Richmond Valley Local Government Area last year, making it the worst region in the Northern Rivers for break and enters.
Despite only having a population of 23,212, Richmond Valley experienced 174 break and enters in 2013 - although, this marked a drop of 47 since 2012, according to NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
While break and enters bring to mind burglars operating under the cloak of darkness, 68.8% of the LGA's crimes happened during the day.
Richmond Valley was ranked 24 out of 152 LGAs in the state, which was significantly worse than Lismore, which ranked 49 with 249 break and enters last year.
Although Lismore recorded more incidents, its rate per 100,000 population was significantly lower.
However, Richmond Local Area Command Inspector Matt Keogh noted in the first quarter of this year break and enter figures in Richmond Valley dropped 24%, accompanying a 36% drop across the whole command.
HOW WE RANK
- Richmond Valley, rank 24, 174 incidents (rate per 100,000 of 749.6)
- Lismore, rank 49, 249 incidents (rate per 100,000 of 540.2)
- Byron, rank 70, 138 incidents (rate per 100,000 of 422.5)
- Ballina, rank 77, 166 incidents (rate per 100,000 of 386.7)
- Tweed, rank 78, 341 incidents (rate per 100,000 of 376.6)
- Kyogle, rank 90, 32 incidents (rate per 100,000 of 323.5)
SOURCE: NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research
He said continuous advances in forensic investigation techniques, such as fingerprinting and DNA, had combined with proactive policing to make a significant impact.
Insp Keogh said recidivist offenders contributed largely to break and enters across the command and especially in Casino.
"We have seen spikes in and around Casino and that usually corresponds with a releasee or recidivist offender," he said.
"Probably 10% of offenders commit 90% of offences.
"It's likely the decreases in offences we're seeing are as a result of our Suspect Target Management Plan (aimed at reducing reoffending)."
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Insp Keogh said despite our rural and regional environment, homeowners need to remain vigilant.
"No keys hidden under the flowerpot," he joked.
NSW Police advises homeowners to install security systems, ensure doors and windows are secured and locked when leaving home, to keep an inventory of valuable property and to engrave or invisibly mark valuables.
NRMA Insurance says the most common claims following a burglary include cameras and camera accessories, while games consoles and accessories, jewellery and computers are also popular items for thieves.