Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home. But if you’ve been a victim of burglary, it can cast a shadow over your life, leaving you and your family feeling scared, anxious and unable to relax.
Remember there are things you can do to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
More than 1 in 3 burglaries are when a house has been left insecure – from an unlocked or open door or window.
What can I do to protect my property?
You can protect your home and property by:
- Making sure you close and lock your doors and windows when you go out, even if you are just in the garden.
- Fitting a burglar alarm and installing security lighting.
- Where possible, fitting dead locks to the doors and not leaving keys where they can be seen or reached through the letterbox.
- Keeping valuable jewellery in a safe or safety deposit box at the bank.
- Buying home insurance. It’s cheaper than paying out to replace any stolen possessions. Remember: if you don’t lock your house, your insurance may not cover you.
- Remembering to cancel deliveries before you go on holiday.
- Keeping an eye on your neighbour’s properties and encouraging them to do the same for you. Always report anything suspicious to the police.
More information about protecting your home, outbuildings and valuables can be found here.
Valuable items can be registered for free at www.immobilise.com – the UK National Property Register. It only takes a couple of minutes and once you have registered you will have a better chance of getting your property back if it is lost or stolen. The information you give to Immobilise is made available nationally to all UK police forces and is used to reunite recovered items with their rightful owners.
Real life stories
Aysha’s family home was broken into on 3 November 2014. The offenders broke in through the patio door. Money and jewellery was stolen.
“It was really bad. We worried that the offenders had been watching us as they knew when we had gone out. We kept wondering if it was going to happen to us again. We were constantly looking over our shoulder. We thought they might come back.
“It was worse for my mum – some of the jewellery that was stolen was of real sentimental value, including gifts from her wedding.
“We didn’t feel safe in our own home afterwards – in fact I still don’t feel safe now. I feel like I never know who is watching me.”
Aysha, aged 22, Blackburn
More real life stories
Hear from Karen who was a victim of burglary and ended up moving house as a consequence.
What should I do if my property has been burgled?
If you think your home has been broken into, assess the situation carefully before taking action. If you think the burglar is still in or around the property, call 999 and wait outside in a safe place for the police.
If you are sure the burglar has gone, this is not an emergency so ring us on 101.
It is very important that you do not touch or move anything in your home as this could contaminate or destroy evidence. If you need to secure your home before the police arrive, please use gloves, or contact us for advice on how to preserve the scene.
When the police arrive they will interview you and inspect the scene. Neighbours and other witnesses will be interviewed later. The officer will give you a Crime Reference Number, which you need to give to your insurance company.
If required a forensic team will visit your home later to check for evidence. When they have finished you are free to tidy up. Make a note of any items that have been stolen and if you discover additional evidence, report immediately to the police.
Reporting a crime
In an emergency (if there is an intruder in your home and the crime is taking place at that time) always call 999.
Alternatively to report a crime that has already taken place, or for advice, please call 101 or if you would prefer you can make an online report here.
You can also sign up to our free messaging service, In The Know, to receive news and updates about crime in your area by email, text or voice message at: www.stayintheknow.co.uk