Coming home and finding you have been burgled can be a traumatic experience. Reporting the break-in to the police is an important step, but there are a number of other things you may want to consider.
What do I do now?
Contact the police
Ring 999 if you believe the offender is still in your house or has just run away; if not use the 101 number. You will be given a crime number to quote in an insurance claim, or if you want to contact police with any follow-up queries.
Protect the scene
Try to preserve the crime scene for any forensic evidence that may be of use to the police. If possible, do not touch anything or allow your children or pets into the same rooms that the burglar has been in.
Look for the spare keys
It is the first thing you should do. Burglars often steal your spare keys, so they can come back in a few days’ time to really clear you out. If you even suspect the keys are missing, change the locks.
Secure the property
Once the police have been, repair all the doors and windows. Call your insurance company to ask if they offer a 24-hour service. Alternatively, you can find a locksmith here.
Make a careful list of what has gone
As an extra precaution, film your home with a video camera or take photographs of each room. That way, you will be able to identify exactly what has been stolen if your house is broken into.
Contact your insurance company
Ask for a claim form and try to find receipts or valuations for the goods that have been taken.
What happens next?
It is normal to feel upset or vulnerable after being burgled. Emotional support and practical advice is available to help you deal with what has happened to you. We can give you a contact for Victim Support, or you can find more information here
In certain circumstances, a witness appeal may be made through the media. A newspaper, radio station or TV station may wish to interview you. Requests are usually made through the Constabulary press office. It is your decision whether you accept or decline the offer speak to them.
Going to court
If an arrest is made, the offender is likely to be prosecuted and you may be required to be a witness at court. Information on attending court as a witness can be found here.
What else can I do?
Reviewing your home security would help to reduce the chance of you becoming a victim of burglary again. You can request help from a crime prevention officer to discuss how best safeguard your home in the future. More tips on home security can be found here