As a homeowner in Australia have you ever wondered what the difference is between robbery and burglary?

Although they are both considered unlawful intrusions into a property, they are treated differently under the law.

Knowing the differences can help you understand your rights as a homeowner and take the appropriate action if either of these crimes happens to you within your property.

What Is Robbery?

Robbery is when someone takes something from another person by force or threat.

As such, robbery is considered a violent crime because it involves some form of physical violence or threat of violence to obtain goods or money from another person.

In most cases, robbers will use weapons to threaten their victims, such as knives, guns or other objects that could be used to cause harm.

Because of the inherent risk involved in robberies, they are usually taken very seriously by law enforcement and prosecuted with harsh penalties if convicted.

A burglar entering a home with a gun in hand.

What Is Burglary?

Burglary is when someone unlawfully enters a property, such as a home or business, with the intent to commit a crime.

Also known as breaking and entering, the most common reason for breaking in is to steal something of value, but this may not always be the case.

Unlike robbery which involves taking something from someone else by force or threat, burglary does not require any physical contact with victims for the crime to be committed.

As mentioned, burglars often break in to steal items from a home or business. However, the act of burglary also includes any type of criminal activity that occurs after an intruder has unlawfully entered the premises.

For example, an intruder could break into a home to vandalize it, start a fire, or cause other damage without stealing anything at all.

A burglar trying to forcefully enter a home.

The Difference Between Robbery And Burglary

The main difference between robbery and burglary is that robbery involves taking something from another person by force or threat whereas burglary does not require any physical contact with the victim.

Another key difference is that robberies are usually more serious crimes than burglaries because of their violent nature.

However, this really depends on the circumstances surrounding each crime and how severe the damage caused during each offence is.

How To Prevent Robbery & Burglary

As a homeowner, there are several steps you can take to make your home less vulnerable to burglary or robbery.

  • Install and use high-quality locks such as Deadlocks on all doors and windows.
  • Keep valuables hidden from view by closing curtains or blinds when not at home.
  • Trimming shrubs and trees away from windows.
  • Add outdoor lighting with sensor lights at your front door, side passengers, and rear access.
  • Install a security system with cameras.

It’s also important to stay aware of your neighbourhood surroundings and report any suspicious activity to the police.

Finally, it is always a good idea to have an emergency plan in place and discuss it with other members of your household so that everyone knows what to do if either a robbery or burglary occurs on your property.

This could include having a safe place to go, what items you should take with you, and who to call for help.

CCTV camera installed in a room with white ceiling.


Robbery and burglary are both serious crimes that can have devastating consequences for those involved.

Unfortunately, no matter how safe your home is, or what the local crime rates are, it could still happen to anyone.

By understanding the differences between these two types of offences and by taking the necessary steps to protect your home from intruders, hopefully, neither of these ever happens to you.

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