What to do

If you notice signs of a break-in when you come home, don’t go inside or call out to see who's there. Go to a neighbour’s house and call the police on 101. If you think the intruder is still there, call 999.

If you’ve been burgled, there are various things you need to do as soon as you can. 

  • Contact the police to report the crime.
  • Check with the police what you can repair or tidy up – a Crime Scene Investigator may need to examine the scene of the burglary first.
  • Get a crime number from the police – you’ll need this if you want to make an insurance claim.
  • Look for your spare house and car keys – burglars may steal these and come back later.
  • If you rent, tell your landlord – it's usually their responsibility to fix any burglary damages.
  • Change the locks if any keys are missing.
  • Secure the property – for example, get broken locks and windows fixed as soon as you can.
  • Make a list of what’s missing.
  • Contact your insurance company – depending on your policy, they may offer support to install security measures.
  • Check you’ve still got your passport, driving licence and birth certificate – if not you’ll need to contact the relevant agencies. If you’re not sure who to call, contact Action Fraud.
  • If your bank cards have been stolen, contact the card issuer.
  • Take precautions to avoid it happening again.

Your local police Safer Neighbourhood Team or Crime Prevention Officer can advise you on how to make your home secure.

Getting help

You can get advice and emotional support from Victim Support whether or not you report the crime. They can also help you fill out insurance and compensation forms and they may give you practical support, such as getting doors and windows fixed or installing a burglar alarm.

If you need to have locks fitted or changed, use a professional locksmith. You can find an accredited locksmith through the Master Locksmiths Association.

Your local Home Improvement Agency may be able to help you install security measures:

Your local Age UK may offer a handyperson service. You can find trading standards-approved businesses through Buy With Confidence or ask your friends and neighbours for recommendations. There may be a charge for these services.

In England and Wales, if your case goes to court and you’re called as a witness, you can get support from the Citizens Advice witness service.

Next steps

To contact your local police Safer Neighbourhood Team or Crime Prevention Officer, call 101 or go to Police.uk if you live in England or Wales, or Scotland Police if you live in Scotland.

If your important documents have been stolen, Gov.uk has information on how to cancel a stolen passport, replace a driving licence and order copies of birth, death or marriage certificates.

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