What to do After a Buglary
Last year, it was reported that police are only solving five percent of all burglaries in the UK.
Such an awful statistic makes it obvious that, now more than ever, we must know what burglary is. We need to know how it occurs, how to stop it and what to do if you become a victim of burglary.
In this article, we are going to explain the steps you should take directly after a burglary has happened. Ensuring you take the fundamental actions following a burglary will drastically improve the chances that the criminals are caught and your possessions are returned.
Burglary is an often misconceived crime. There are many misconceptions around burglaries. A lack of understanding can increase the risk that your property is targeted. As such, before we look at what to do after a burglary takes place, we’re going to eliminate some of the myths.
1 Most Burglaries Don’t Happen at Night Time
Although the typical depiction of a burglar is of someone sneaking around at night, most burglaries don’t happen at night time. In actual fact, the majority of burglaries happen between 10.00am and 3.00pm. This make sense as many houses are unoccupied during these times.
2 Most Burglars Aren’t after Large Items
It’s hard to smuggle big items such a TV’s, bikes and sound systems out of a house unnoticed. In order to shrink their likelihood of being noticed, today’s burglars are more likely to target smaller things such as phones, laptops, car keys and even personal ID like passports and drivers licences .
3 Most Burglars Don’t Carry Equipment
A lot of burglars are experts at breaking into properties without being noticed. Lugging around equipment, such as ladders, wire cutters etc will draw unwanted attention. Therefore, burglars are more likely to pick properties which can be broken into without using tools.
4 Most Burglaries Are Committed by People Living Close
Although many people believe burglars usually commit their crimes in neighborhoods that they don’t live in, this is not really the case. As alarming as it is, most criminals target properties within a small radius of their own home. This is because they’re more familiar with the area, they can get back to the safety of their own home rapidly and are can easily monitor people in order to track their routine.
5 3 out of 10 Burglaries Take Place When Somebody Is at Home
Little over a quarter of burglaries take place when someone is in their house. This may be because the burglar doesn’t realise someone is in – or simply because they don’t care. For this reason, it’s important that you ensure that your property is properly secured at all times – including when you’re at home.
What to Do Immediately after a Burglary
Discovering you have been burgled can be a rather scary and quite worrying. However, it’s very important that as soon as you notice that you’ve been burgled, you act swiftly. This will help keep you safe and will increase the chances of getting your belongings back as well as of bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Here’s what to do.
1 Phone the Police
The first thing you should do after discovering a burglary is phone the police. The operator will be able to guide you through what you need to do next. You will then issued you with a crime reference number which you should write down for insurance reasons. If you see a burglary in action, vacate the premises, stay calm and call 999.
2 Don’t Touch Anything
After discovering a burglary, you may have a strong urge to go through your belongings in order to see what’s missing. It’s so important that you avoid these urges. In order to preserve the crime scene, you should leave everything just as you found it. Doing so may be the difference between getting your things back and not.
You should take pictures of any damage and of the places where items have been stolen. These may be helpful to your insurer.
Only when the police have collected any evidence and left the crime scene should you begin cleaning up.
If you have a CCTV system, retrieve the footage and make multiple copies. These can be given to police and kept for future reference
3 Cancel Missing Credit Cards and Mobile Contracts
If you think that any bank cards or cheque books have gone missing, call your bank straight away. Your provider will cancel and reallocate missing cards which will stop the burglar from withdrawing money from your bank account.
If you use online banking, you will need to alert your provider if any smartphones, laptops or computers have gone missing.
Likewise, if your phone has been stolen, call your network provider so they can cancel your contract and block activity on the device.
4 Check If Any Keys or Documents are Missing
A burglar may steal your house keys, car keys or even keys to another property. Check that all your keys are accounted for including those for windows. If the criminal has taken any of house keys or keys to another property, ensure you change all of the locks affected. This will prevent you being the target of a secondary burglary.
If your drivers license or passport is missing, inform the DVLA and Passport Office.
5 Make an Inventory of Belongings
Make a collection of any evidence you have about the items that where stolen. This includes receipts, photographs and any valuations. These can be shown to your insurer on exactly whats gone missing and it will make it easier to calculate how much your claim is worth. Make sure you don’t dispose of anything that could be of help when your insurer conducts their investigation.
6 Look after Yourself
Being the target of a burglary can be a very traumatic experience. Following the incident, you may want to stay at another property temporarily. This could be a friend’s or family member’s house – or even a hotel. You might also experience increased anxiety or higher stress levels If so, you may want to consider contacting a counselling service. Victim Support is an independent charity that provides practical and emotional support for victims of crime. You can call them for free on 0808 1689 111.
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