Australia’s overall crime rate has fluctuated over the past five years but Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have reported a steady decline in property offences over the same period. In Sydney, property offences are down five per cent but the incidence of theft from a dwelling is neither up nor down, being described as “stable”. It’s a word that can lead to complacency. To avoid becoming a “stable” statistic, preventive measures are essential. Using burglar alarms is one measure, but neighbours tend to ignore alarms and response teams can’t arrive immediately. Rental homes (typically without alarms) are twice as prone to burglary as owned ones. For everyone, keeping valuables in safes is the best measure of last resort against determined thieves. Cash and jewellery are the most common targets, but identity documents and passports are just as valuable when fenced to sophisticated rings of criminals. Most victims know immediately when money or jewellery has been stolen, but identity theft can remain undetected for months. Keeping personal papers in any one of the document protection safes Sydney suppliers offer is a simple preventive measure. Melbourne is considered reasonably safe and although residential burglaries have fallen by three per cent in recent years, the city reports around 27,000 cases a year. A category of simple but ingenious safes that Melbourne residents could be tempted by are ‘distraction’ safes, containers disguised to look like everyday household products – anything from baked bean tins to fake plugs. Who’d have thought crime prevention could be fun? Brisbane’s crime rates vary by suburb, with the southern suburbs being more frequently targeted by gangs. The safes Brisbane householders can choose from are also wide-ranging: anything from fire resisting safes to specialty safes for guns. “Better to be safe than sorry” may sound like a cliché, but it really does ring true when it comes to protecting your valuables.