A rise in home and property thefts across the city over the past 12 months has resulted in big bucks for electronics outlets with the sale of home security systems and CCTV equipment skyrocketing.
Local retail outlets selling the systems have reported a significant increase in sales, some up 50 per cent in 12 months.
Neighbourhood Watch Hunter area coordinator Bill Hackney said never before has he seen so many people installing the systems and never before has he seen them so affordable and accessible both in store and online.
Technology has also improved markedly in just one year, putting offenders on notice with special “cloud” technology that captures and saves the images of anyone attempting to destroy or steal the devices.
“There are definitely more people with CCTV than ever before and I think that’s due to the accessibility and affordability of new systems,” Mr Hackey said.
“It used to be professionally fitted and generally cost thousands but now you can buy a wireless technology system online for $300 and stream it to your mobile, tablet or laptop,” he said.
“I go to every NHW meeting from Newcastle to Port Stephens and up the Valley and I’m hearing a lot more about residents installing CCTV. It’s peace of mind, should improve insurance premiums and provides evidence for police which helps firm up their reports,” Mr Hackney said.
Nick Swanson from Harvey Norman Rutherford said the home security system sales are doubling every two years. “It’s growing but the ironic thing is that thieves are stealing them because they are a high risk item,” Mr Swanson said.
“Security cameras have been around for a while but the technology is improving. Business operators are also buying them because of their accessibility and because they’re not as expensive starting from $150 to $200.”
Despite their accessibility and reasonable price, home security systems do come with a warning. “You need to think about securing them from people who can hack into them externally,” Mr Swanson said. ”They can hack into them and see what’s going on in your house so they can actually cause more grief. However there are some security products out now to protect against this.”
A spokesperson for Officeworks, said home security system sales at its Rutherford store have increased by 60% on last year’s figures.