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Crime

Almost a Quarter of all Canberra Burglaries Take Place in Belconnen

Burglary, theft and property damage remain key crimes in Belconnen but that does not mean you need to fall victim. Despite concerted police efforts, official statistics for the first half of 2013 reveal Belconnen District continues to be a Canberra hotspot for motor vehicle theft, general theft and burglary. Residents in the district's 25 suburbs had to endure 96 vehicles thefts and 250 burglaries in first half of the year more than any other Canberra district. This accounts for almost a quarter of all the stolen vehicles and burglaries in Canberra. There were 16 reported vehicle thefts in the suburb of Belconnen alone. Fyshwick was the only other suburb to record as many, with Canberra City recording 15. Belconnen also recorded a Canberra high 385 cases of property damage, also more than City (383 cases). There were almost 1700 cases of general theft and property damage in the district only Canberra recorded more with slightly more than 1900 cases.,

Crime Down But Not Out

While the area remains a hotspot, vehicle thefts and burglaries are on the decline. Between 2009 and 2012, police brought down car theft rates in Belconnen from 433 to 227 coinciding with a city-wide halving in incidents (from 2198 to 1137). However, this reduction appears to have slowed in 2013 and Belconnen's proportion of incidents increased. The district has consistently accounted for just under a quarter of Canberra's motor vehicle thefts. It is a similar positive story with burglaries in Belconnen, which followed a greater downward trend to drop from 1303 incidents in 2009 to 496 in 2012. Incidents of property damage and theft declined from 2009 (4701) to 2011 (3223) but have shown little further downwards movement since and police emphasise the need to stay vigilant.

Protecting Your Home

Avoiding becoming a victim can be as easy as tacking a few simple proactive and protective steps. Getting to know yourneighbours can be an easy first step to vastly improving your security that is both free and effective, while Belconnen District's Neighbourhood Watches provide a link to the community and local police. A recurring message from police is to ensure you always lock your house and car doors, even when you are at home. Cars stolen by burglars who swiped keysfrom a hall table of an unlocked house remains an all-too common story. As do stories of opportunistic burglars targeting unlocked vehicles, especially vehicles owners feel they have safely parked in their drive. Other key steps to deter crooks include evaluating a home's windows, doors and lights for security, and minimising yard obstructions that could conceal intruders with a comprehensive safety audit sheet available here. However, all the preventative steps in the world cannot always deter a determined crook, so it remains vital to protect your home with insurance.

Protecting Your Business

With evidence emerging that crime against SMEs is increasing particularly as the Global Financial Crisis continues to bite in Australia it is more important than ever to protect your business. The 2013 Small Business Crime Index found more than a third of SMEs were affected by crime and three in five lost 5 per cent annual profit to crime. For more traditionalshop-based businesses protection can start by taking the simple steps to minimise risk, such regular stock audits, installing security cameras and properly screening staff. More high-risk or niche businesses face different challenges. A recent Victorian inquiry into the state's taxi industry, for example, heard estimates that taxi drivers were 15 times more likely to be assaulted than ordinary workers. The taxi inquiry's final findings showed protective measures such as cameras and protective screens gave mixed results meaning finding the right insurance to protect assets, income and health is particularly vital for taxi drivers. Tradies and cleaners who enter houses for work and need to protect equipment from theft, or truck drivers who spend most their time on the road also face similar unique risks. In each case it is vitalyour identify the risks your business faces and to take steps to protect yourself accordingly.

Fighting Crime an Ongoing Battle

Police emphasise that it is vital not to get complacent when it comes to combating crime both for them and the community. While crime across Canberra has dropped from 60,753 incidents in 2009 to 49,790 in 2012, the number of incidents reported in the district of Belconnen has remained constant at more than 11,000 incidents. This means it is particularly crucial for locals to engage with police on crime prevention to protect themselves and their community. Combating crime can be as easy as recording the numberplate of suspicious vehicles, remembering to lock home or business doors, and installing visible security systems. Crime Stoppers remains a key tool connecting the community and Australian police that can include monetary rewards to callers, who remain anonymous. The ACT Region Crime Stoppers alone has helped police arrest more than 800 people, lay more than 2000 charges and recover more than $1 million in stolen property since 1996. With the Australian Institution of Criminology estimating crime is now costing Australia almost $36 billion annually, protecting yourself remains pivotal. However, by taking some simple precautions and getting the right insurance it is easy to make sure you are not left counting the cost.

Julie Holland.

 

 


Paul Nelson

 

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Belconnen’s underbelly

Crime and policing are often discussed, usually in the context of it being rampant and increasing. How does Belconnen fare? The Australian Federal Police publish statistics on crime on a monthly basis on their web site http://www.police.act.gov.au/community-safety.aspx


The table below looks at crime data by offence (homicide is not included as according to police statisticians the numbers are too small) for areas of Belconnen. The figures are only for one month (May) and could be different if another month were analysed.

Crime in Belconnen May 2010

Type of crime

Zone 1

(Charnwood,

Dunlop, Flynn, Fraser)

Zone 2

(Giralang, Kaleen, Lawson, McKellar)

Zone 3

(Hawker, Page, Scullin, Weetangera)

Zone 4

(Higgins, Holt, Latham, McGregor)

Zone 5

(Aranda, Bruce, Cook, Macquarie)

Zone 6

(Belconnen Town Centre)

 

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

Assault

4

0.3

5

0.4

1

0.1

4

0.3

8

0.6

8

2.2

Sexual

0

0.0

0

0.0

1

0.1

1

0.1

0

0.0

3

0.8

Robbery

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

1

0.3

Burglary

8

0.5

10

0.7

10

0.9

8

0.5

13

1.0

12

3.4

Motor vehicle theft

2

0.1

1

0.1

1

0.1

4

0.3

3

0.2

5

3.4

Other theft

14

0.9

27

1.9

15

1.3

20

1.3

38

2.9

66

18.5

Property damage

13

0.8

13

0.9

10

0.9

21

1.3

14

1.1

34

9.6

Total

41

2.6

56

3.9

38

3.3

58

3.7

76

5.8

129

36.2


Belconnen Town Centre would appear to be the most crime afflicted, but it is a town centre with places of entertainment and commercial activity. Of the residential suburbs Zone 5 (South east Belconnen) seems to have the worst record, especially in terms of burglary and theft.


How does Belconnen compare with other parts of the ACT, Australia and the world?


Statistics on crime are difficult and there appears to be limited data for Australia that can be compared to these. However, the table below looks at other parts of the ACT.


Crime in other parts of the ACT May 2010

Type of crime

Palmerston

Civic

Weston Creek

Inner South

(Barton. Deakin, Forrest, Griffith, Yarralumla)

Kambah

Lyneham and O’Connor

 

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

Assault

0

0.0

23

18.5

7

0.4

7

0.4

9

0.6

8

0.8

Sexual

0

0.0

1

0.8

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

Robbery

0

0.0

2

1.6

0

0.0

0

0.0

2

0.1

0

0.0

Burglary

5

0.8

1

0.8

20

1.0

17

1.1

9

0.6

20

1.9

Motor vehicle theft

0

0.0

4

3.2

4

0.2

12

0.8

3

0.2

1

0.1

Other theft

5

0.8

47

37.8

31

1.6

122

7.8

46

2.9

26

2.5

Property damage

1

0.2

18

14.5

24

1.2

57

3.6

18

1.1

19

1.8

Total

11

1.8

96

77.2

86

4.3

215

13.7

87

5.5

74

7.2


Firstly, Belconnen Town Centre does better than Civic, which has a crime over double that of Belconnen Town centre. Only Palmerston in Gungahlin has a better record than all areas in Belconnen.


Again these statistics only cover one month. A better perspective would be to look at a year.

 

In terms of national comparisons ABS publication 4519.0: Recorded Crime - Offenders 2008-09

The ABS states:

“For the 2008-09 reference period, New South Wales accounted for 30% (103,853) of the Australian offender population aged 10 years and over, followed by Queensland (24% or 83,806) and Victoria (16% or 53,605). The Australian Capital Territory recorded the lowest number of offenders (1% or 3,337) and was the only jurisdiction to record a decrease (1%) in the total number of offenders from 2007-08.

The Northern Territory had the highest offender rate in 2008-09 with 4,832 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 10 years and over, and recorded the largest increase in the offender rate from 2007-08 (an increase of 540 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 10 years and over). The lowest offender rate was recorded in the Australian Capital Territory with a rate of 1,096 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 10 years and over.”
 

This measures offenders whereas the local data above measures offences.

So do we need to worry about crime? Well that other statement is quite apt “be alert, not alarmed”.

Terry Giesecke

Canberra Media Research

 

Taking the pain out of visiting the dentist


A1 Dental Care partners with leading online healthcare system 1st available.com.au to simplify dental health access

A Belconnen dental practice is leading the fight against tooth decay by breaking down the barriers to dental care access and making booking an immediate appointment so much easier.

A1 Dental Care is spearheading the A.C.T. technology revolution by partnering with the country’s leading healthcare booking site, 1stavailable.com.au – an online central portal offering Australians unrivalled access their dental healthcare professional.

Dr Shareif Elhoufy, Principal Dentist and Director at A1 Dental Care, one of a number of A.C.T. practices now embracing the new technology, says their patients spend hours a day online and can do anything from book a last minute hotel to buy or sell a car, so it made sense to integrate their business to an online model - particularly over the busy Christmas period.

“Keeping oral health top of mind is challenging enough, so we wanted to simplify the whole process of visiting the dentist for our patients,” said Dr Elhoufy.

“The holiday season, which is a particularly busy time of year for both the clinic and our patients, can mean that appointments go unfulfilled or are put on the back burner,” he said.

According to Dr Mohamed Elfar, Principal Dentist and Director at A1 Dental Care, “By making the process easier, we hope to encourage patients to keep their regular appointments from the comfort of their desks and ensure their oral health is sustained over the Christmas season.
“They can even explain their problem before stepping into the clinic, whether it is a painful emergency or a routine check-up.
“By giving control over their own healthcare appointments, we are hoping to break down some of our patients’ barriers to accessing good quality dental healthcare,” said Dr Elfar.
“We have invested in cutting edge equipment and state of the art dental technology, so it makes perfect sense to keep our software in-line with the increasingly online world.”
The process is simple. Patients can go on to either A1 Dental Care’s website at A1dental.com.au or 1stavailable.com.au and find and book an appointment that best suits them. The specific booking is then seamlessly synchronised, in real time, with the clinic’s existing internal appointment book – a functionality that precludes double bookings or the need for manual matching up of the two booking methods (phone/in-person and online).

Klaus Bartosch, Executive Chairman of 1stavailable says the healthcare industry has traditionally been slow to integrate non-medical technology into its services.

“Healthcare ranks as the most commonly searched subject on the internet, with nearly nine out of 10 Australians searching online for health information, yet locating a healthcare professional and booking with a preferred provider requires phoning the practice during business hours to confirm their available appointments.

“This makes accessing healthcare services unnecessarily difficult, particularly when we are used to and expect 24/7 access to services online,” said Mr Bartosch.

“With 1stavailable.com.au, a patient can essentially find and book an appointment online and then be in seeing the dentist within as little as 10 minutes – the immediacy of it all is quite amazing really,” said Mr Bartosch.

“It also helps to alleviate the stress on the front desk because the phones are no longer ringing off the hook – not because people aren’t booking appointments, but because they can do it themselves online or through the 1stavailable ‘App.’

“We have been inundated with positive feedback from practice managers, with reports of improved practice efficiency, profitability and customer service,” said Mr Bartosch.

“Our goal is to make healthcare more convenient and accessible to all Australians,” said Mr Bartosch.

“And this new partnership between A1 Dental Care and 1stavailable is definitely a step in the right direction.”

For further information or to coordinate an interview, please contact:

Dr Shareif Elhoufy (Principal Dentist & Director, A1 Dental Care) 02 6251 9991
Dr Mohamed Elfar (Principal Dentist & Director, A1 Dental Care) 02 6251 9991
Mr Klaus Bartosch (Executive Chairman, 1st Available) 0414 992 811

About 1st Available


1stavailable.com.au is the brainchild of Sydney-based dentist Dr Rick Luu and is run by a highly experienced executive team of veterans in both the healthcare and online markets. The team has gained significant experience working with businesses like wotif.com, seek.com, carsales.com.au, realestate.com.au, ninemsn and other leading online destinations.
1st Available provides consumers with a central online booking portal to find and book healthcare appointments instantly, at any hour of the day including when the practice is closed. It is free to patients, easy to use, convenient and easily accessible on the internet via your PC or mobile phone. There are tens of thousands of appointments available online now. If consumers don't find what they need, by simply signing up they can help bring on the healthcare providers they are looking for.
1st Available is a breakthrough for healthcare professionals. It improves practice efficiency and profitability by freeing up front desk staff, improving customer service and helping to fill open and costly last-minute cancellations. Essentially, it alleviates and creates capacity in an overextended healthcare system. With the increasing shift towards digital technology, the 1stAvailable platform is improving access to Australian healthcare services.
About A1 Dental Care
A1 Dental Care is a modern, contemporary dental practice located in the heart of Belconnen, Canberra. They have a highly qualified and experienced team and their practice leads the way in cutting edge technology and oral health equipment. The first in Canberra to routinely offer cancer screening as part of any standard examination, A1 Dental Care continually strive to keep abreast of the latest developments in oral health.
For more information, visit A1dentalcare.com.au or call 02 6251 9991.


 

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