18th February 2020
What To Do When You Have Been Burgled
Phone the police
You should do this straight away, as the sooner you report a crime, the better the chances are that the crime will be solved. If you feel that the burglar is still inside your home, then please don’t enter, call the police from outside your property. Best to do this from a safe place such as your neighbour’s house.
Try not to touch anything!
A burglar will hopefully have left some forensic evidence in your home. If you can manage not to disturb anything inside or outside of the property this will help Scene of Crime Officers recover vital evidence such as fingerprints, footprints, tool marks, etc.
Make a list of any stolen or damaged property
You should go through your property room by room and make a comprehensive list of everything that has been damaged or stolen.
NB: It is a good idea to keep a record of items in your property. Ideally, you would list the make, model, serial number and any identifying marks. This will make it easier for the police and your home insurance provider as they will request this information
Contact Your Bank
You should contact your bank straight away if any debit or credit cards are missing. They will then put an immediate block on your cards being used and can issue your replacement cards.
If you keep your financial information stored online and your phone, computer, etc are stolen you should also contact your bank straight away to block access and get new login details to your accounts.
You will also need to do this if any digital storage device (computer, USB, mobile phone, etc.) has been stolen that contains your financial data.
The same applies to other important documents you may have such as passport or driving license if they are missing, you should also tell the relevant authority as soon as possible.
Get a crime reference number from the police
The police give all reported crimes a unique reference number. You will need to make a note of this reference number as you will need it to make a claim on your home insurance policy.
Contact your home insurance company
Assuming you have home insurance cover (buildings and contents, contents only, tenants’ contents insurance). Under the content’s element of cover, you should be able to claim for stolen or damaged items. The buildings insurance will cover damage to the property.
Please note: That you should contact your insurer as soon as possible and complete their claim form.
- You will need the list of stolen/damaged property that you made earlier.
- You will also need the crime reference number that you get from the police when you report the burglary.
- Where possible dig out any receipts for items that have been stolen or damaged. If you can’t find receipts, credit card bills or bank statements may also help prove you brought the item, you may also have the instruction manuals or a list of make, model and serial numbers that help provide proof of ownership as a loss adjuster might want to see them to help validate your claim.
Secure Your Home
Any doors or windows that have been damaged during the break-in will need to be fixed immediately. You should also change the locks immediately If any keys have been taken from the property.
It is also a good idea to ask the police officer(s) attending your burglary to point out any obvious signs of weaknesses in your current home security and then consider whether or not you need to upgrade your current home security.
A burglary can be a traumatic event, the police will refer your case to Victim Support, or you can contact them yourself. Victim Support’s volunteers offer free counseling, help, and advice to victims of crime.
You can get in touch by visiting their website or calling 08 08 16 89 111.