A burglary is committed when someone breaks into a home or property with the intention of committing unlawful damage, stealing goods or hurting an occupant.

Burglaries are often committed by opportunists and there are some things you can do that may help improve your home security, such as closing ground floor windows at night. Some victims are burgled multiple times and can be subjected to other forms of crime such as hate crime and harassment.

There’s a clear financial impact of burglary, but it is also capable of affecting your sense of security and emotional wellbeing.

A crow bar on a window frame being forced open

My home has been burgled - what should I do?

Begin by calling the police. Depending on the severity, they may visit to gather the evidence as soon as possible. They’ll give you a crime reference number (ask for one if not) which will enable you to make a home insurance claim if you need to.

Next, speak to us, because we have a variety of support available that could help. For example, we have a range of items that can improve both your home’s security and your feelings of safety.

To reduce the impact of burglary on you and your family, we recommend you:

  • secure your home as quickly as you can, and if you rent the property, tell the landlord about any repairs that need carrying out;
  • find ways you can make your home more secure by leaving lights on while you’re out and ensuring all doors and windows are locked whenever you leave; and
  • inform banks and other organisations if you’ve had important documents stolen such as your passports or bank cards.

How should I expect to feel after I’ve been burgled?

Even if nothing has been stolen, the thought of someone entering your home may feel like a violation of your personal space. It can be very distressing.

You might even blame yourself (this isn’t uncommon), or feel that the burglar in some way ‘tricked’ you, but burglary is never your fault; no one has the right to enter your home, even if you’ve left it unlocked.

Children can be frightened by burglary and for that reason might need some extra reassurance that everything is going to be ok. We have specialist caseworkers who can help children and young people cope after experiencing burglary.

Everyone reacts to crime differently. Speaking to someone who can offer the help, advice and support you need may help you come to terms with what has happened. This is why we’re always here for you.

How can the Victim Care Service help?

We can help you by providing:

  • emotional support (to help deal with the impact of burglary);
  • practical help (providing relevant information and support guides);
  • provision of basic security items and advice on locks, repairs and security systems
  • assistance with support services and the police;
  • information about the court process; and
  • contact information for other organisations that might be able to help.