Ballarat residents using technology to deter thieves, police say

POLICE are noticing an increase in residents using technology such as CCTV cameras in their homes as a way of deterring potential thieves. 

With many Ballarat residents on holiday during the Christmas and New Year period, Ballarat police are warning people to take precautions to ensure they don’t become the victims of a burglary. 

Ballarat Police Inspector Bruce Thomas said many of the best ways to stop potential robbers involved common sense.

“Get your neighbour to collect the mail, get people to do your gardening and let your neighbours know. If you’ve got an alarm system make sure it’s switched on,” he said.

Inspector Thomas warned people against advertising that they were going on holiday on social media including Facebook, in case thieves were watching. 

He said there was a higher prevalence of people taking precautions a step further by purchasing CCTV systems and installing them in their house.

Last week, the image of a man wanted for questioning by police in relation to a Sebastopol burglary was released after it was captured on a home CCTV system.

The family said they installed the camera on the back of their house after they were sick of constant break-in attempts at their property and others in the area. 

One electronics company is currently selling a four-camera set-up for $399.

Inspector Thomas said privately installed cameras were useful as they could act as a deterrence, as well as helping identify offenders and providing evidence for future court cases.

“People are buying CCTV systems for their houses as it’s cheap and they’re DIY installs,” he said.

The Ballarat police “burglary crew” formed last year from Criminal Investigation Unit detectives and experienced uniform officers was also helping bring down burglary rates, said Inspector Thomas.

“They’re having a lot of success. They’re targeting recidivist offenders and having an impact on burglaries in the area so we’re happy with their work,” he said.

Police have received some information regarding the burglary in Sebastopol and are still investigating the incident.

Anyone who might be able to assist with their enquiries should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

tom.cowie@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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