Victim of burglary? What should you do?

Hopefully your home will never be burgled. It is a horrible experience, and expensive; the average cost of a burglary in the UK, including damage to property and stolen property, is well over £2,000.

If you do return to your home and find it has been burgled, what should you do?

Don’t rush in

Don’t put yourself at risk. It is possible that the burglars are still in your property and confronting them may be dangerous. Call the police on 999 if you think the burglars are still there.

Register the crime with the police

If the burglars have left your property, call the policy on 101, the non-emergency number. They should give you a crime reference number, which you will need when you call your insurer.

Cancel any bank or credit cards and cheque books

Cancel bank and credit cards, and cheque books, if you think they have been taken.

Note what has been taken or damaged

You will need a list to give to the police and your insurer. As well as checking whether valuables and important personal items have been taken, check for important documents that are used for identification, such as passports, bank statements and utility bills. You will need to cancel your passport if it has been stolen, and you should notify the relevant issuer of other ID-type documents so they can look out for any attempt at fraud.

Don’t clear up until the police have attended

Clearing up the scene of a crime may destroy evidence such as fingerprints. The policy usually attend burglaries the same day as they are reported to inspect the scene and interview you, so try to wait.

If you need to make an insurance claim, contact your insurer’s claims team

Think about whether you need to make a claim, and whether the claim is under your buildings or contents insurance, or both. Your insurer will want to know the crime reference number. If you have separate insurers for buildings and contents and you need to claim for both buildings and contents, you will need to contact both insurers; if you have combined insurance you will only need to contact the one insurer.

Your insurer may send you a claim form, or send a claims assessor to see what has happened.

If you are a tenant, damage to your building is your landlord’s responsibility, so you should tell them what has happened so they can arrange repairs.

Make your home secure again

When you speak to your insurer tell them what needs to be fixed straight away to make your home secure and weather proof, so you can agree what to do.

Consider contacting Victim Support

A burglary can be very upsetting. If you or a member of your family need someone to speak to, Victim Support offers free counselling on 08 08 16 89 111 to victims of crime.

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