One of the most common crimes in the Territory (and other parts of Australia) is theft from and invasion of people's homes. Home invasions can leave victims feeling vulnerable and insecure for a long time after the crime, but there are precautions you can take that help to prevent it happening to you.
- In your home
- The Territory’s climate means doors and windows are often left open – locked security doors and security screens on windows provide a barrier but allow air flow.
- Ask for identification of trades, sales people or strangers before opening your door.
- Do not keep a weapon in the home for protection. It could be used against you.
- Keep doors locked, even when at home or in the garden, but don’t deadlock yourself inside in case you need to leave in a hurry.
- Install smoke alarms and check them regularly.
- Keep cash in the home to a minimum.
- Make sure you know the identity of your children’s friends and acquaintances, or others, who visit your home.
- Don’t leave car keys or other keys lying around or in obvious places.
- Don’t leave keys hidden outside the house - leave spares with trusted friends or neighbours.
- Don’t leave tools that could be used to break into your home, outside.
- Dogs are a deterrent to prowlers.
- If confronted in your home, stay calm, comply with the intruder’s instructions, leave the house if possible and contact police.
- Display house numbers prominently to make your home easy to find in an emergency.
- On the phone
- Use a male voice for answering machines.
- Never reveal that you will be going away or that you are not at home.
- Never provide your name or address.
- Hang up on nuisance callers.
- Key in emergency, family and friendly neighbour numbers.
- Install your phone, or an extension, in the bedroom.
- With mobile phones activate the PIN and security code – making it useless to others if stolen or lost.
- Don’t leave your mobile phone unattended in public, particularly pubs, clubs or cafes.
- On holiday
- Always lock your room door.
- Secure valuables in a room safe, if available, or at front reception.
- Take note of emergency exits, stairwells, fire escapes and emergency plans. Be prepared.
- Arrange to meet people in the lobby, don’t ask them to come up to your room.
- Walk with friends, rather than on your own, when moving about the city.
- If separating, tell your friends what your plans are and arrange meeting places and times.
- Wear valuables (such as traveller’s cheques and credit cards) on your person. If carrying a bag, wear it on your back, secured to your person rather than over one shoulder.
- If you are carrying money, carry only what you need.
- Don’t leave valuables or money unattended at entertainment venues.
- Don’t leave valuables or money unsecured in your room.
In an emergency call 000 (police, fire or ambulance). If calling from a mobile, dial 112.
For non-emergency crime incidents and general enquiries, call 131 444.
So, you’re going to have a party – or going to a party – and you’re going to have a great time – right?
Hopefully, but not always. Drunks, gate crashers, arguments, neighbours’ complaints and, occasionally, fights can ruin the occasion. Alcohol consumption can be an unpredictable social factor.
But there are ways to avoid such pitfalls.
These tips – for party hosts, guests and parents – will help ensure parties are what they are meant to be – an event where everyone has a good time.
- Party Hosts
Prevent neighbour complaints
Inform neighbours in advance and provide a phone number in case they wish to contact you.
Keep out the gatecrashers
Issue written invitations and make entry by invitation only.
Stop the stayers
Put a finishing time as well as start time on the invitation.
Advertise your intentions
Consider displaying a ‘Safe Party Alert Poster’, available from your local police station.*
If it’s a young person’s party make sure there are non-drinking adults attending.
Encourage parents to collect their children at a pre-arranged time.
Supply the drinks
BYO parties can lead to excessive supply and unsupervised drinking.
Serve the drinks
Make alcohol available from one area, served by a non-drinking adult.
Non-alcoholic and low alcohol drinks allow guests to have a drink in their hand without increasing their alcohol consumption
Restrict the supply of full strength beers, champagne, wines and spirits.
Feed the guests
Eating can slow down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed, but avoid salty foods which will encourage more drinking.
If all else fails – you’re the host, you can ask people to leave. Be verbally assertive to gain control of the situation. Call police if matters are getting out of control, before they get worse.
- Party Guests
Keep it to yourself
Don’t tell others who haven’t been invited about the party, the most common cause of gatecrashing.
Don’t drive to a party if you’re going to have a drink, pool with other guests and nominate a sober driver to drive everyone home or arrange to be picked up at the end of the party.
Go with invited friends
Link up with others to look out for each other, both at the party and getting home.
Bring an alternative
Don’t take alcohol unless specifically asked and don’t take more than you will drink. Excessive supplies can lead to excessive consumption.
If your child has been invited to a party:
Check it out
Speak with the host’s parents about the invitation list, numbers attending, age range, food and alcohol provision and pick-up times.
Get their number
Make sure you know the address and telephone number of the venue.
Drop off and pick-up
Be clear about when to drop your child off and when to pick them up, thus avoiding children collecting on the street unsupervised.
- Safe Party Registration
It’s possible to register your party with police. Police will unobtrusively monitor the event and your registration provides police with the information needed should trouble occur.
Pick up a Safe Party Registration Form from your local station (parties must be registered at least seven days before the date). Alternatively you can download the form.