Chances are you will be the victim of THIS CRIME while AT HOME in the New Year.

We all feel safer at home than we do when visiting many other places. Our homes are associated with comfort, security, and familiarity. When we are out about town, are guard is up because some locations and circumstances present certain levels of discomfort, insecurity, and unfamiliarity. Our minds naturally go to a level of fear or anxiety around strangers and strange places while away from home. We even simulate events in our minds of how we would react in emergencies or crimes in these circumstances. How would I react if someone approaches me and demands my wallet? What would I do if a stranger approaches my child in an unusual way for fear that person may try to snatch them away? Is my car parked in a safe location? Is there someone around me that may try to take my purse and run?

These are all anxieties we have thought about and felt when in certain situations and locations away from home.

However, the chances of you being a victim of a crime are higher while at or near your home, opposed to any other location.

 In fact, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 2018 National Criminal Victimization Survey, 62% of all recorded crimes occur at or near your home. This is not to say you should fear being at home –  just that you should be more vigilant about protecting yourself and your property at home from those that would intentionally victimize you.

So, then you ask yourself, “what crime will I more likely be a victim of?”

By the numbers ,the top crime that is likely to occur at your home is:

  1. Theftthis crime represents 36% of all crimes – and is a generic legal term referring to an individual that intentionally takes your personal property or belongings without your consent or permission in order to make it their personal property.

In other word’s…this crime occurs when a casual acquaintance takes jewelry while visiting your home or a neighbor taking a package from your porch after its delivered from Amazon, among other examples.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 2018 National Criminal Victimization Survey, theft is the number one crime that will occur at or near your home at a rate of 58 out of every 1000 houses.

But that’s not the only crime that will occur to you while at your home.

There are 7 other crimes that are most likely to occur at or near your residence. In order of the ones most likely to occur to least likely to occur… they are:

  1. Burglary/Trespassing – occurring at a rate of 21.1 for every 1000 homes – involves an individual unlawfully entering your home by force or by circumventing security in order to steal your personal property; trespassing is when an individual enters your property or home without consent with intentions of wrongdoing.

Think of this crime when an individual enters your home through an unlocked window or breaks open a door lock to go into a back door. An individual that enters your property without permission and breaks something of yours can be considered trespassing.

  1. Simple Assault – occurring at a rate of 4.6 per 1000 homes – is the intentional threat or threatening act of physical harm by an offender, that does not result in physical harm or injury but places the victim in fear of harm.

For example, a person confronts you in your yard angered about how you were driving in your neighborhood and balled up their fist and swung it at your face in efforts to hit you but misses you.

  1. Aggravated Assault – occurring at a rate of 1.4 per 1000 homes – is an intentional threat or threatening act of physical harm that does not result in physical harm or injury places the victim in fear of harm or injury with the use of a deadly weapon such as a knife or gun.

For example, the person in your yard angered by your driving in the neighborhood takes out his knife and lunges at your face trying to strike you with the knife.

  1. Motor Vehicle Theft – occurring at a rate of 2.3 per 1000 homes – is when a person takes or steals your vehicle without your permission by an individual that is not authorized to drive or use your vehicle.
  1. Robbery –  occurring at a rate of 1.1 per 1000 homes – is when an individual takes your property without your permission with the use of force or a threat of force.

For example, a person breaks into your home and holds you at gunpoint directing you to give them your money and jewelry.

  1. Rape/Sexual Assault – occurs at the rate of 1 out of every 1000 homes. Rape is when sexual intercourse occurs through force without consent, and sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact through touching or feeling. Sexual assault can be unwanted groping by an individual without consents in a sexually motivated way, like at a party at your home an acquaintance grabs your inner thigh and leans in to try to kiss you in an unwanted, non-consensual way.
  1. Personal theft/Larceny –  which only occurs at a rate of 0.1 out of every 1000 homes – and is the taking of personal property without permission when the offender does not have direct contact with the victim.

For example, a person takes a drill from your garage without your permission in order to sell it later for money without having direct contact with you.

It is important to remember that crimes can and do occur at and away from home. The implications of crimes occurring at your home are unique in that they create more insecurity, fear, and anxiety at a location you spend most of your personal time at. Therefore, it is imperative that you try to take steps to prevent and deter these types of crimes from occuring at the place you call home.

L. E. Keith