First things first. Breathe. Think rationally and follow the steps mentioned below. Chances are you’re very upset but safety is still key here, so do not enter the property and:
- 1. Call the police immediately. This seems almost too obvious to include on the list, but it’s important to report the burglary to the authorities as quickly as possible. The number to call depends on the situation. If you suspect that the intruder may still be in the building then call 999 from a safe location, making a note of any vehicles parked near your property and any other suspicious details.
If you’re sure that the property is now empty, call the non-emergency line on 101 to report the crime and the police will attend to ensure that the property is now secure issue you with a crime report number. Do not touch anything before the police arrive as you could obscure fingerprints and compromise evidence.
- 2. Itemise everything damaged or missing. On a first look, it will be impossible to notice everything that is missing, but try to put together a list of the high value items to provide the police with a starting point and include as much detail as possible in the description of items to increase the chances of recovery.Over the days following the break-in, add to this list as you remember things as it will be important to a have a comprehensive account for your insurance claim.
- 3. Contact your insurance company. Your insurers will need the crime report number issued by the police and the inventory of stolen and damaged items you have compiled in order to process your claim. It is an unfortunate reality that your insurance premiums are likely to increase following a break-in, so claiming for all relevant items is important to protect yourself financially.
- 4. Contact your bank. It is important to report stolen debit/credit cards and chequebooks as quickly as possible so that a block can be placed on them. In most cases, any fraudulent charges on a credit card will be refunded by your bank automatically as soon as the card is reported stolen, so reporting the theft early can make all the difference.
- 5. Secure your home. When compiling the inventory of stolen goods, it is easy to neglect to notice that your house keys or spare keys are missing, especially if the door lock has not been damaged in the break in. Changing the locks is a sure-fire way to minimise the risk of a burglar returning, along with repairing any damage to windows and other points of entry. Arrange boarding up the broken door(s)/window(s) and speak with an emergency lock smiths to change the locks the buglar may now have spare keys for.
- 6. Talk to someone. Following a burglary, it is natural to feel uneasy in your home and suffer some emotional damage, particularly if items of great sentimental value have been stolen and cannot easily be replaced. Victim Support is a charity that works with victims of any crime and can provide support to those recovering from a break in and offer advice as to how best to deal with the emotional repercussions.
- 7. Learn from the experience. Nobody ever expects that they will be the one to be burgled and usually there are improvements that can be made to the basic security of your home. Use this opportunity to re-evaluate the precautions you’ve taken and add to them if necessary.
- Simple measures can also help to secure your home, such as timers for lights to make the property appear occupied and informing neighbours of any travel plans. In the event of a burglary, having a list of your possessions is invaluable, immobilise allows you to register valued goods in a format that is then used by the Police to trace owners of stolen property.
Although the number of burglaries in the UK is gradually decreasing, thieves will always target properties with few or no security measures in place and ensuring that your home is well-secured in a visible way is one of the most effective deterrents.
At Latham’s Security Doors we hold stock of a large range of high security doors, suitable in residential and commercial applications, available for immediate delivery to help give you peace of mind and most importantly keep your property secure from criminals. Give us a call today on (0)1384 220 050 or contact us online.