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SSC Newspaper : July 2010
By Matt Khoury Strath eld residents are paying the price for the area's continuing high crime rates through increased home insurance premiums. A new report reveals that the break and enter rate for Strath eld remains well above the NSW state average. According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) there were 278 break and enter incidents in Strath eld last year. e report says that although this gure was slightly lower than in previous years Strath eld householders are 40 per cent are more likely to su er a break and enter than other areas in New South Wales. Mike Sopinski, a spokesman for AAMI Insurance, says while local crime statistics were not the only factor considered they were a major in uence when se ing premiums. "AAMI looks at both the BOCSAR statistics and our own data," he says. Adele Buhagiar, a spokeswoman for NRMA Insurance, says that the company uses its own data when assessing premiums -- but this data does identify Strath eld as high risk area for break and enters. For $40,000 worth of contents insurance NRMA quoted $350 a year for a home in Concord West and $365 for a home in Strath eld. When asked for the same level of contents insurance, AAMI quoted a premium that was $81 higher in Strath eld than in Burwood. e high crime rates in Strath eld have prompted recent meetings between Strath eld Council and Flemington Police. Together they have formulated a plan to prioritise the ght against burglaries. Inspector Wayne Cha ey, of Flemington Police, said the majority of break and enters targeting residences are professional jobs. "We are investigating reports throughout the local area command, particularly in areas that are hotspots," said Inspector Cha ey. An existing council push to ght crime has already produced results. Since being identi ed as a priority target in the council's Crime Plan 2007-2010, the area has dropped from ninth to 30th on the list of the worst areas for break-ins and enters in the state. Another $50,000 initiative, largely funded by the state government, is now being aimed at burglars who target a uent districts. e program includes the distribution of 600 ultra- violet markers so that residents can apply invisible labels to possessions and a self-auditing home security kit. In other developments, Strath eld Council has announced that it will also subsidise locks for eligible households and hold a series of public forums to address residents' concerns. Tony Maroun, the Mayor of Strath eld, welcomed the state government initiative. " is grant enables Council to undertake this project and ensure the community feels safer," he says. e Insurance Council of Australia says homeowners should properly secure all doors and windows and install electronic alarms. e council also encourages a positive relationship with neighbours since 70 per cent of the s occur when the owner is absent. ■ Is enough being done? Tell us at www.ourstrath eld.com.au High crime rate pushes up premiums TELL STRATHFIELD ABOUT YOUR EVENTS Post them free at www.ourstrathfield.com.au 4 Strathfeld Scene JULY 2010 NEWS "We are investigating reports throughout the local area command, particularly in areas that are hotspots” – Inspector Chaffey