Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Locking them up

Someone knocked on our front door today. 

This is not exactly a momentous event but it is quite rare. Normally the only people who knock on the door are people we have invited over, or occasionally the man in the Australia Post van bringing a parcel to the front door that won't fit in the letterbox.

Today's visitor knocked at about 5:30pm when Little E and I were home alone and were halfway through her dinner. I was quite startled - it was a loud, long knock and obviously we weren't expecting anyone. I really thought twice about opening it. The front door is wooden, has a lock and a deadlock and in front of it is a security(ish) screen door. None of the locks were in use. I wished that I had the good sense to lock the screen door as a matter of course so that if someone unexpected arrives I can open the wooden door and still feel relatively secure.

I don't know why I was worried. We live in an area that's as safe as you can ever be and so far as I'm aware we haven't annoyed any bikie gangs or other scary types lately. I suppose though that no one ever expects to get burgled, or robbed, or for bad things to happen to them.

[Brief, lawyerl-y tangent: there is a difference between being burgled and being robbed. "To rob" means to steal with violence (or threat of violence). So if, whilst you are minding your own business at the train station, some savoury soul punches you and relieves you of your mobile, you have been robbed. If he then goes down the road, points a gun at the service station chick and takes all the money from the till plus some Cadbury koalas for good measure, that's a robbery too (in fact it's an armed robbery because of the gun.) "To burgle" means to enter someone else's property without their consent and to either commit an offence, or intend to commit an offence. So if our same pleasant friend is really having a big day and after his service station shenanigans he goes to someone's house, breaks a window and wanders away with their plasma screen telly under one arm, that's a burglary. If they get home and catch him in the act, it's still probably a burglary (assuming he had more sinister intentions than just having a nap on their sofa). Anyhow, now that you know the difference you can join me in being irritated everytime someone in the media misuses the two terms.]

Anyway, today's story has a happy ending: the unexpected caller was an early-20s girl collecting for disabled people and she was perfectly pleasant and disappeared quickly when I declined to give her anything. But it's made me resolve to remember to lock the screen door whilst I'm home alone with E, at least until our fancy new driveway gate arrives at the end of the month.

Do you routinely lock your doors or take other security measures when you're at home?

1 comment:

jennifersmart said...

I'm a leave the front door wide open, trust all's well kind of person. But hate having windows open at night.
Suburban Sonnet is one of my favourite Gwen Harwood poems!
Visiting from the FYBF
J x

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