Burglary is one of the most common types of crime and unfortunately, some people will experience burglary several times.
Burglary can have a significant emotional impact and can leave you feeling violated even if nothing has actually been stolen. Children in particular can be significantly affected by burglary and may need reassurance and support.
There are some things that you can do to help reduce the impact of burglary and to reduce the chance of it happening again.
What to do if you’ve been burgled
- Report the crime, if you feel comfortable;
- secure your home as soon as possible. If you’re living in rented accommodation, contact your landlord as soon as possible about any repairs that are required. If you own your own home, you’ll need to make your own arrangements. We may be able to help, for example by assisting with repairs to damaged property – contact us to see how we can help you;
- check for important documents and financial information. If these have been stolen, you’ll to let the relevant banks, government departments and other organisations know as soon as possible, to stop any further fraud or theft. Things to check for include bank cards, cheque books, passports, benefits books, mobile phones, birth certificates and driving licences.
- contact your insurance company – they will be able to tell you what you need to do in order to make a claim – you’ll need your crime reference number from the police; and
- contact Victim Support – we can help you to cope and recover from the effects of burglary.
How we can support you
If you’ve been burgled, we can
- provide emotional support, either over the phone or face to face;
- help with filling out forms, cancelling credit/bank cards and reporting stolen documents;
- deal with insurance companies for you;
- speak with relevant organisations, such as housing authorities;
- keep you up to date with what is being done by the police and other agencies;
- give you advice about your personal safety and home security;
- signpost or refer you to other agencies and services that can also offer help; and
- provide support if a case goes to court.
Inside your house
- Ensure doors are always locked, even when you’re home;
- keep your windows shut or consider fitting window restrictors; and
- keep valuables - including car keys - out of sight and away from the letterbox.
Outside your house
- Consider installing extra security such as CCTV, security lights or a burglar alarm;
- store ladders and tools – which can be used to assist in gaining entry to your home - in a shed or garage that is secured with a strong lock; and
- ensure boundary hedges and walls are below eye height – so burglars have no hiding place.
When you’re away from home
- Use timer lights to make it appear as if people are home;
- keep your holiday plans to yourself - sharing too much information on social media can make you a target for burglars; and
- join your neighbourhood watch scheme.
Bethan received both face-to-face and over the phone support after she was the victim of aggravated burglary. Read her story.
Andrew* was the victim of a burglary that had a serious emotional impact on him. Read his story.