Being burgled is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. There are plenty of ways to keep your home secure, but unfortunately there is no way to protect your home 100%.
No one wants to be burgled, but it’s important to know the steps to take if it happens. Instead of leaving it until something happens, read our tips on what to do when you’ve been burgled so you’ve got one less thing to think about.
Call the police straight away
As soon as you realise you’ve been burgled, call the police. You’ll need to get a crime number for your insurance claim, and the sooner your call the police, the better chance there is of them catching the perpetrators.
If you notice you’ve been burgled when you’re outside your home, it’s a good idea to call before you enter using a mobile or a neighbour’s phone. It’s safer to not risk disturbing a burglar in case they are dangerous.
If you’re at home when you’re being burgled and you feel safe to do so, call the police straight away. The police treat these calls as ‘burglaries in progress’, which are top-priority calls. That means a response car should get to you as soon as possible.
Avoid touching anything
You could destroy evidence if you touch anything after you’ve been burgled. Wait until a forensic unit turn up and take the evidence they need.
Record all your stolen or damaged property
The police will help you with this, but make a list of all your property that was stolen or damaged during the burglary. Your insurers will need this list as well as the police.
Make sure you add accurate descriptions of each item, including serial numbers or unique characteristics. You’ll also need to provide an approximate value of items.
Tell your bank about the burglary
Even if your cards haven’t been stolen, inform your bank. Cancel all your cards, as it is becoming more common for burglars to note down card numbers to use for purchases online.
Call your insurer
Make sure you call your insurance company within 24 hours to report the burglary. Give them all the information they need to start processing your claim – including your list of stolen items and your crime number.
Ask for support
As a victim of crime, the police will refer you to Victim Support. You can receive free counselling as well as help and advice. You can contact Victim Support via their website.
Secure your home
Once the police have concluded their investigations, start clearing up the evidence of a break-in. This might include repairing broken windows and doors and replacing locks.
You may feel that you want to upgrade your security to decrease the risk of a burglary happening again. This could include replacing your locks and doors with more secure options, or adding a burglar alarm and CCTV cameras.
Hopefully you will never be a victim of a burglary. But now you know the steps to take if you are burgled, it’ll take some of the stress out of an unpleasant situation.