7 Things to do after a burglary

7 Things to do after a burglary

Feeling vulnerable, angry and violated are just some of the emotions householders go through in the aftermath of a burglary. Coming back to find your home or office ransacked is one of the most unsettling and stressful things that can happen, and it is not unusual to find yourself shocked and a little numb. Take a minute to process what has happened and then it’s time to spring into action. You have to act quickly to get both yourself and your living or working space back on track.

1. Call the police
Make sure you notify the police as soon as possible and leave everything untouched until the police have been out to the scene of the crime. If you come back and see windows broken or doors damaged, don’t try to enter the property unless you are sure there is no one else in there. Consider the safety of yourself and others before entering.

2. Make safe the property
There could be broken glass on the floor or damaged locks, and these need to be repaired as soon as possible. Check all the entry points into the building as well as any possible forced entry points into the grounds. It’s not just the locks that need to be considered; any broken fencing should be repaired too. Invest in good quality locks to not only ensure that the property is made safe when you leave but to also give you peace of mind at night time.

3. Find out what is missing
The police will give you a crime reference number for insurance purposes, but you also need to have a list of what has been taken ready to submit to your insurance company. If you do keep records and receipts of household purchases, this will help in identifying and costing out a number of items, from TVs to computer equipment. Check that bags and purses have not been taken with credit cards and ID information, and look in the garage and outdoor areas to see if any of your tools or leisure equipment has gone.

4. Invest in a good home security system
It is a sad fact that many people who have been burgled in the past sometimes become victims a second time around. A burglar knows you will replace your valuables, and all they have to do is wait for a while and then attempt to gain entry again to steal the new items.

Keep burglars at bay by making it as difficult as possible for them. This makes them more likely to leave you alone and move on to easier pickings. Having a good home security system, such as a wireless alarm kit or even a DIY home security system, that you can monitor remotely is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t get a return visit, for example, so do invest in products that will ensure the safety of your property or business premise.

5. Check out the neighbourhood watch
Speak to your neighbours and make them aware of what has happened. If you have a local crime watch group, talk to them so they know a burglary has taken place, and find out how you can make your home more secure.

6. Get some help
A burglary affects everyone in different ways, and some people might find it a more traumatic experience than other people for a number of reasons. If you find yourself having sleepless nights and feeling vulnerable, do not keep it to yourself. Speak to someone, whether it is a trusted family member, relative or friend, a counsellor, or even a local victim support scheme if there is one. Make sure you access any help that you need.

7. Be extra vigilant
Finally, minimise the chances of another burglary happening by being vigilant. Store your valuables out of sight, and let your neighbours know if you are going to be away for more than a day or so. If you already have a home security system in place, be sure to carry out a home security audit bi-annually to check that everything is in excellent working order, and that you have not missed a vulnerable entry point on your property or business premise.