What is burglary?
Burglary is one of the most common types of crime. A burglary is when someone breaks into a building with the intention of stealing, hurting someone or committing unlawful damage.
Burglary isn’t always a one-off event – some people may be burgled several times or be affected by other crimes as well, such as harassment or hate crime.
The impact of burglary isn’t just financial; it can also have a significant impact on your emotional well-being and sense of security.
In the past 12 months, Voice has helped over 1,300 people deal with the effects of burglary, meaning you’re in good hands.
What should I do if my home has been burgled?
- call the police. It is important that the police are able to come to your property to gather evidence as soon as possible. If you have home insurance and want to make a claim, you will need a crime reference number from the police; and
- speak to Voice. We’re here to help with anything you need, and will help you through the process of recovery.
To try to reduce the impact of burglary on you, your family and your home, ensure you:
- try to get your home secured as quickly as possible. If you’re in rented housing, tell your landlord about any repairs you need. If you own your home, you’ll need to make your own arrangements. This is something Voice can help with, for example by assisting with repairs to damaged property;
- look into ways of making your home more secure for the future. Some security measures can be expensive, but there are other things you can do that cost much less, such as leaving lights or a radio on when you go out and checking that all doors and windows are properly closed and locked; and
- let banks, government departments and other organisations know if important documents have been stolen. Things to check for include bank cards, cheque books, passports, benefit books, mobile phones, birth certificates and driving licences. It’s important to tell banks and building societies as soon as possible so that they can stop fraud and any further theft.
How should I feel after I’ve been burgled?
Even if nothing has been stolen, the thought of a stranger being in your home can be very distressing and feel like a violation of your personal space.
Some people blame themselves if they forgot to secure a window or door, or if they were tricked by the burglar, but it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault – no one should enter your property regardless of if it is completely secure or not.
Children in particular can be very frightened following burglary and may need reassurance, even if they don’t talk much about what’s happened. Voice has specialist counsellors who are trained to help children and young people to cope, recover and thrive following crime.
Not all stolen goods are replaceable and some people may lose items of significant sentimental and personal value – this can be very upsetting.
If you feel any of these things and would like to talk to someone who can offer help, support and advice, speak to Voice.
How can Voice help?
Voice can help you by providing:
- emotional support to help you cope with the effects of the burglary and to think about the next steps;
- practical help with filling out forms, dealing with insurance and helping you to cancel payment cards, record stolen items and replace stolen documents;
- advice about security systems, locks and repairs;
- help in dealing with other support agencies, such as the police or housing department;
- information about the police and court procedures; and
- contact information for other organisations that can help if there are problems we can’t deal with – we can also liaise with them on your behalf if you want us to.