The recent shocking and violent attack at a St Kilda apartment block serves as a timely reminder that building security is a communal effort in Owners Corporations.
Apartments are often highly rated by property purchaser and renters alike because of security benefits.
Most modern buildings have intercom systems which allow occupiers to identify owners before allowing them access to the building, while there are often registered key systems and fob access systems in place.
However, all the security systems in the world won’t be enough if occupiers are not as security conscious.
While this most recent attack is particularly shocking because of the particularly violent nature of the incident, apartment break-ins are unfortunately common.
In the last six months alone Strata Plan’s systems show over 25 cases relating to a break-in, theft or CCTV requests relating to thefts or break-ins.
More often than not, would-be criminals are able to access the property simply by walking through the front door or tailgating an occupant into the garage.
The most common ways this can happen include:
Almost all of these occurrences can be easily stopped.
Owners and occupants should be wary of the following suspicious behaviours:
To prevent unauthorised access from happening, owners and occupants should consider the following;
If you view any of these behaviours and are in any doubt, phone the local police station first and your Owners Corporation manager second.
Fortunately, most break-ins are non-violent, unlike the recent incident in St. Kilda.
However, they remain a nuisance and often result in theft.
Most thefts occur in the basements of buildings, where cars are parked and valuables are left in storage cages.
Bikes are another very common item to be stolen from basements.
These are particularly vulnerable areas as their often little CCTV coverage, occupants are only in these areas when they’re entering or leaving the building, and the contents of storage cages are usually in plain sight.
Basements are also one of the easiest parts of the building to access, either via the lift or stairs if the thief has gained access to the building lobby, or directly into the basement if tailgating someone.
Basements often have “loops” in place which allow vehicles to exit the basement without a remote or access device, making it even easier for criminals to leave the basement after completing a robbery.
Storage cages are often vulnerable as they are usually constructed with simple cyclone wiring and are easy to see and cut into, leaving most padlocks completely useless.
To help prevent storage cage theft you can:
Strata Plan has not had to deal with many reports of motor-theft, although most thefts from cars involve the offender breaking a window to take valuables or building access devices from the car.
It is hugely important that occupants remove all valuables from cars and don’t leave their remotes in the car.
While individual vigilance is important, making improvements to the building’s security is often a communal effort and is driven through the Owners Corporation.
Common methods of improving building security include:
The installation of security cameras is one of the best ways to deter crime and catch those responsible when it does occur.
Strata Plan recommends that owners corporation committees concerned about the security of their building consider the following options:
It is important that lot owners in strata complexes think about the community they live or have invested in.
Another great way to improve security is simply getting to know your neighbours and having an understanding of the people who actually live in the building.
If everyone in that community shares the interest and responsibility for securing their property – both private and common – it will go a long way to helping them create an amazing life space that everyone can enjoy.
If you would like to start a conversation about your building’s security, get in touch with Strata Plan to learn more about your options.
If you would like to contact us with any queries please complete the form below and we will respond to you within 2 business days.