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Defining the difference

I was asked as a result of my previous blog to provide an explanation concerning the difference between Robbery and Burglary.

For those that wish to explore further the New Zealand Crimes Act 1961 is the driving piece of legislation detailing all criminal offences in New Zealand. Contained within you will find the legal definitions, the key elements that constitute each offence, the penalties that can be awarded if convicted and the differing degrees of severity.

For some people there is on occasion confusion surrounding these two different offences.

Lets focus on robbery.

Keeping it simple robbery is defined as ‘theft accompanied with violence or the threat of violence’. Obviously there are varying degrees of severity in relation to this offence with the most common being referred to as ‘aggravated robbery’. For an offence to escalate to being ‘aggravated’ there needs to be three key elements present:

1. The presence of a weapon;

2. Grievous Bodily Harm (G.B.H.); or,

3. More than one offender.

A dangerous and traumatic event for those that are subjected to this offence.

It is important that if you are the victim of a robbery that you do as much as you can to facilitate the key objectives that the offender wants in order to enhance your safety and that of others.

The common objectives for all robbers are to gain CONTROL, get what they are there for, normally CASH, and then to ESCAPE. It is vital during a robbery that these three objectives are met as safely and as qucikly as possible. If you elect not to facilitate these requirements, more often than not you will see an escalation in aggression towards the victims…obviously creating a more dangerous situation.

If you would like to know more about how you can enhance your safety during a robbery, what you need to consider in terms of managing the scene afterwards and just as important, what you can do to reduce the risk of robbery occuring. I would be happy to hear from you to discuss further.

Burglary on the other hand is a different offence.

Burglary is defined as ‘entering with intent to commit a crime therein’.

If you arrive home to find that your house has been broken into then you are a vitim of a burglary not a robbery.

However, if a burglar is disturbed during the event as we have recently been privy to in the media,  it can create a situation that can very quickly escalate out of control. Bungled burglaries can lead to more serious offences such as aggravated assault, kidnap, rape and sometimes murder. Scary stuff.

My advice to everyone if you are the victim of an offence such as robbery or burglary is to get the Police involved as quickly as possbile.

TIP: – Emergency Police Contact

  • Calm yourself and remain calm.
  • Dial outside line 111
  • Ask for the Police
  • Advise them of what has happened
  • Provide as much information as possible
  • Remain on the line and follow instructions.

I sincerly wish to you all that you never have to experience anything such as a burglary or robbery, but I also wish that in the event you become a victim, you take the time as best as you can to consider your safest and most viable option(s).

I look forward to hearing from you .



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Kind Regards