I’ve been burgled

A young women is on her phone outdoors about to call the police after being burgled.

Being burgled has a big emotional cost too.

Having someone break into your home is a shock. Here are the steps to follow if you discover you’ve been burgled.

1. Call the police immediately

Don’t dial them up from home, if there’s a chance that the burglars are still inside. As soon as you realise you’ve had an intruder, call from your mobile in the street, or use a neighbour’s phone.

It’s OK to dial 999 in this instance because the crime may only just have been committed – and the bad guys are still roaming nearby. Although unfortunately you might not get an immediate response from the police.

2. Don’t touch anything

Tempting as it is to begin clearing up, especially if the place has been ransacked, it’s vital that you leave everything untouched. The police will want to evaluate the scene, (and maybe even dust for fingerprints), and you don’t want to go hoovering up vital clues that may lead to arrests and the return of your stuff.

You should also get a crime reference number from the police that you can use if you want to make an insurance claim. 

3. Look after yourself

Walking into a burglary scene can give rise to all kinds of immediate emotions, from shock to anger, but it’s important that you stay calm when dealing with the police. They’ll want to make a report, which involves filling in a form and listing all the stuff that’s been stolen.

Get through this, it won’t take long, and then settle down with someone you trust and talk about what’s happened. Victim Support can offer free emotional support and confidential advice on any legal issues that may crop up. The bottom line is that whatever you’re feeling is fine, from shock to anger, isolation and depression, but in every case it helps to open up about it.

See our article on the stages of victim recovery for more support.

4. Make your home safe again

If the police attend sooner rather than later, they’ll work with you to protect your home. You may need to call for an emergency glazier or locksmith, and it’s worth calling your insurance company helpline at this point as they may offer 24-hour emergency call out services. Check your window locks, and even if the door wasn’t forced, it’s worth changing all your locks as a precaution.

Getting new locks fitted might be a hassle, but it could save you a great deal of grief in the long run. If you are forced to hire someone yourself, get a receipt for the work as you may be able to recoup the cost as an insurance claim.

In the aftermath of a security breach, the expertise of a locksmith becomes a crucial solution to restoring the safety of your home. It’s not just about changing locks; it’s about regaining a sense of security. In such situations, the urgency of finding a reliable locksmith near me becomes paramount. These professionals not only provide swift solutions but also offer valuable advice on enhancing the overall security of your home. From reinforcing window locks to suggesting advanced locking mechanisms, their expertise ensures that your home is not only restored but fortified against future security threats. In the intricate dance of security and peace of mind, a skilled locksmith becomes a trusted partner in safeguarding the sanctuary of your home.

Also cancel any cheque books/cash cards you have, or think you might have left lying around the house. If anything containing personal details of your friends and family has been taken, for example your phone, you’ll have to notify them of the situation so they can take steps to protect themselves.

5. Moving on after being burgled

Getting your life back in order is going to take time… not just your emotions but all the paperwork generated by someone breaking into your house. You’ll need to work closely with your insurance company, and present them with the official police report (which will detail items stolen – so avoid the temptation to make up stuff that never existed).

Policies can differ widely, and you may find yourself obliged to accept a new for old replacement, or money to match the value of all the stuff gone missing.

If you suspect you’ve been burgled

If you suspect you’ve been burgled but you’re not sure, for example if a door or window is open but there’s no sign of a break in, check for any missing valuables like laptops, phones, cash and jewellery. Look closely at window locks and door latches to check if they’ve been forced open, but avoid touching them in case the police want to dust for fingerprints. If you’ve got access to any doorbell cameras check those or ask your neighbours if they have any footage. If anything is out of place, follow the steps below right away. If it looks like someone accidentally left the window or door open and nothing is missing then consider yourself lucky!

Moving home? How to find out if a house has been burgled

Obviously the best way to avoid coming home to a crime scene is to not get burgled in the first place. But how do you find out if a house has been burgled before or is in a high crime area? This is especially helpful if you’re moving home, and your new postcode will certainly affect your insurance costs.

You could try asking your prospective neighbours, or the letting agent. If that isn’t any use, you can look up the crime statistics in one area, and compare it to another with this handy tool.

Is it worth having a burglar alarm?

Home security systems are obviously improving all the time, but is it a good idea to splash out loads of cash on a bunch of cameras and a fancy alarm system? 

Well, yes and no. Spending loads on hi-tech security measures might not be worth the money, because according to burglars themselves, the most effective deterrents for home burglaries and car theft are CCTV cameras, loud barking dogs, strong heavy doors, a TV being switched on and locked UPVC windows.

In this context, it’s worth noting that incorporating elements like Fortknox Security Cameras Adelaide can be a valuable addition to your home security strategy. Integrating reputable security systems like Fortknox can certainly enhance the overall protective measures for your property. Striking the right balance between technological advancements and proven deterrents ensures a comprehensive and effective home security setup.

Burglar alarms were only number thirteen on the list of deterrents, but it’s still worth turning yours on if you do have one. A better idea might be a doorbell camera or something similar. You can even use an app to set up a mini CCTV camera using an old mobile phone if you have one lying around.

Next Steps

By The Mix Staff

Updated on 31-Mar-2023