What should you do after being burgled?

Being the victim of burglary can leave homeowners seriously shaken and common sense often goes out of the window. The following steps are designed to help the police retrieve your stolen goods and help you make a successful insurance claim:

  1. Contact the police: If you think the burglar may still be inside the property dial 999 immediately, otherwise use the non emergency number 101.
  2. Don’t touch anything: To give the Scenes of Crime officers the best chance of finding useful forensic evidence it’s important to leave everything exactly as you find it, especially near entrance or exit points.
  3. Check what’s been stolen: Methodically work your way through each room making an inventory of everything that had been taken.
  4. Check your documents: While dealing with the shock of being burgled it’s easy to overlook the loss of important documents and personal financial information. Check to see if any credit cards or chequebooks have been stolen and ask your bank to put a block your account if necessary.  Similarly check to see if any other important documentation, such as your passport or driving license, has gone missing and contact the appropriate authorities.
  5. Get a Crime Report Number: Ask the police for an Incident Number so that your insurer can begin to process your claim.
  6. Contact your insurer: Your insurer will be able to walk you step-by-step through the claims process and make practical suggestions about what to do next. Check to see if you have Home Emergency Cover included on your policy to help cover the cost of securing your property.
  7. Secure your property: Once the Police have left you can begin clearing up and making your home secure. Keep locksmiths and glazers receipts as you may need them to make a claim.
  8. Improve your security: Burglars know that you’re likely to replace any stolen goods and they have a nasty habit of coming back. Added security will not only help to deter unwelcome visitors, but could cut the cost of your home insurance premiums. Cost effective measures include fitting door and window locks and a burglar alarm.
  9. Record replacement items: Even if your insurer doesn’t ask to see your replacement receipts it makes sense to keep them somewhere safe in case you need to make a claim. It’s also worth whizzing around your house with a digital camera to make a record of any unusual household items that could be tempting targets for thieves.
  10. Get some support: Burglary can be a very traumatic experience and the volunteers at Victim Support are trained to help. To find out more Tel: 0845 303 0900 or visit the Victim Support Website

Remember that burglary is mostly an opportunistic crime there is a good deal that can be done to prevent easy pickings, starting with our home security tips

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