Burglary is a criminal act of breaking, entering and trespassing into the dwelling of another without the consent of another with the intention of committing an offence. In New South Wales, breaking and entering in any dwelling house of another or breaking in any building with the intent commit an offence is punishable.
This offence usually occurs at night when everyone is sleeping. Night time is usually chosen by the offender to ensure the success of the criminal intent. The fact that offence intended to be committed by the offender was not actually committed is immaterial. This is because the offence of burglary is already committed upon the breaking and entering into the dwelling by the offender.
Breaking into the dwelling and entering into the dwelling are two separate offences punished under the Crimes Act 1900 with each has a corresponding penalty. The law does not only punish the breaking in by the offender, it also punishes the breaking out by the offender after committing an indictable offence.
A person who breaks into the dwelling-house of another with intent to commit a serious indictable offence therein or actually committed a serious indictable offence or breaks out from the said dwelling house shall suffer imprisonment of 14 years.
A person who enters into the dwelling-house of another without the consent of another with intent to commit a serious indictable offence shall be liable to imprisonment of 10 years.
The maximum imposable penalty will be higher if an aggravating circumstance or special aggravating circumstance is present in the commission of the offence. The penalty is either 14 years or 20 years or 25 years depending on the type of aggravating or special aggravating circumstance and depending on the place where the offence was committed.
A burglar is the one who commits the offence of burglary. It is the one who breaks into the house of another usually at night time to commit an offence.
In a report by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research in 2011, it said that burglars changed their interest in the kind of items stolen. Most of the time, the offence of burglary is committed when the burglar intends to steal something from the dwelling house.
Burglars appear now to be more interested in objects which have intrinsic value or which can be very readily disposed of. The rising popularity of cash (stolen in 31 per cent of incidents in 2010 compared with 23 per cent in 2001) could be due to convenience as it does not have to be on-sold. (NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Crime and Justice Statistics: Bureau Brief 2011, p. 4).
There are several ways on how to prevent burglary. One of the reasons why burglary is happening is because of lack of security measure taken by the homeowners during at night or during a holiday trip. A simple habit every day before going to bed can help prevent the burglars from coming in or can make their job difficult. Make sure that before going to bed to lock all the doors and windows. To leave the door and unlocked will expose your house to an easy target of burglary. Not to lock the doors and windows are important, it is also important to check the lock itself whether or not it is working properly.
An alarm system introduced is also one way of preventing burglary. An intruder alarm system can be used to enhance the physical security of your home. The intruder alarm system should be manufactured and installed to the Australian Standards for Domestic Applications. The system should be designed to provide maximum coverage of the home and garage. (NSW Police Force, Home Safe). It will have a deterrent effect because the home owner will be alerted including the neighborhood about the breach of the security installed.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.