We anticipated and forewarned that crime in certain categories will trend upwards when pandemic lockdowns are finished.  Crime trend analysis for two years to September 2023 supports our earlier assessments.

Information provided by the New South Wales (NSW) Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) – 13 December 2023, states:

‘Many property crimes are now starting to recover following substantial declines during the pandemic. In the two years to September 2023, eight of the 13 major offence categories showed significant upward trends, and five were stable. In most cases the increase in the two years to September 2023, reflects a return towards pre-pandemic crime levels. The eight offences trending upwards in the two years to September 2023 were non-domestic violence assault (up 11.2%), robbery (up 18.3%), break and enter dwelling (up 8.1%), break and enter non-dwelling (up 15.2%), motor vehicle theft (up 18.8%), steal from motor vehicle (up 5.0%), steal from retail store (up 36.1%), and other stealing offences (up 9.3%).’  It is reasonable to assume that other jurisdictions comparable to NSW will have similar crime trends.

It is important to properly understand and effectively remedy your physical security vulnerabilities.

Based on our long experience providing independent, criminal incident assessment reports to insurance companies and expert evidence for legal proceedings, we can comfortably state that criminals typically take advantage of one of the weakest links – the security systems, which may sound odd.

Some reasons that the ‘system’ (mainly access control, CCTV, intruder detection, physical barriers) ‘fail’ are:

  • no longer fit for purpose as the location’s risk context has changed or the system is struggling due to obsolescence,
  • deficiencies in original contextual analysis, design, and/or procurement,
  • not properly commissioned,
  • now vulnerable to criminal compromise,
  • not properly managed (e.g. management of access control credentials including contractor and casual employee cards, and codes),
  • poorly maintained.

The effectiveness of a good system can also diminish due to environmental conditions. For example, the systems ‘protecting’ residential properties near the ocean or harbour are often impacted by corrosion from salt air or more generally salt, bird droppings and spiderweb covering the lens of cameras.  In shopping centres and CBD office buildings, one of the environmental risks this time of year is the obscuring of CCTV camera views by Christmas trees and decorations.  Some vulnerabilities can be mitigated with the low-cost application of crime prevention through environmental management (CPTEM).

The way security systems are procured, designed, installed and managed are often sources of physical and cyber security vulnerability, the big ticket items.

Security risk assessors and consultants often fail to appropriately understand the vulnerabilities related to security systems, which is another topic.

The best way to evaluate whether your security system is working for you, or working for the criminal assessing your property’s vulnerabilities, is to engage and independent expert for assessment and recommendations to close vulnerabilities and to improve effectiveness and sustainability.

Read full BOCSAR report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au

Read our earlier LinkedIn post ‘Security Preparation for the Holiday Season: Starts Now’.

More on this important topic:

‘Is your security system placing your business at risk?’


Stay safe and stay Informed…

Should you have a strategic, operational or compliance interest in the physical protection of people, infrastructure, property or supply chain, please ‘Follow us’ on LinkedIn.

Harris Security Management


Geoff Harris, Principal Consultant –

info@harris.com.au or telephone +61 2 9560 9933

Licensed security consultant / Licensed security trainer –  licence number 407641686.


Integrated Security and Emergency Risk Management for Facilities, Crowded Places and Supply Networks.

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