Burglary is one of the most common types of crime. A burglary is when someone breaks into a building with the intention of stealing, hurting someone or committing unlawful damage.

It isn’t always a one-off event — some people may be burgled several times, or be affected by other crimes as well, such as harassment or hate crime. The impact of burglary isn’t just financial; it can also have a significant impact on your emotional well-being and sense of security. But however you’ve been affected by burglary, Victim Support can help.

For information on protecting your home from burglars, take a look at our safety tips.

Even if nothing has been stolen, the thought of a stranger being in your home can be very distressing and feel like a violation of your security. Some people blame themselves if they forgot to secure a window or door, or if they were tricked by the burglar, but it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault.

Children in particular can be very frightened and may need reassurance, even if they don’t talk much about what’s happened. Not all stolen goods are replaceable and some people may lose items of significant sentimental and personal value – this can be very upsetting.

If this has happened to you and you need help to recover from the impact of a burglary, please contact us.

There are some things you can do to help reduce the impact of a burglary and to improve your home security:

  • Try to get your home secured as quickly as possible. If you’re in rented housing, tell your landlord about any repairs you need. If you own your home, you’ll need to make your own arrangements. We may be able to help, for example by assisting with repairs to damaged property.
  • Look into ways of making your home more secure for the future. Some security measures can be expensive, but there are other things you can do that cost much less, such as leaving lights or a radio on when you go out and checking that all doors and windows are properly closed and locked. Your local police station or neighbourhood policing teams may be able to arrange for someone to give you home security advice.
  • If important documents have been stolen, you’ll also need to let banks, government departments and other organisations know. Things to check for include bank cards, cheque books, passports, benefit books, mobile phones, birth certificates and driving licences. It’s important to tell banks and building societies as soon as possible so that they can stop fraud and any further theft.
  • If you have home insurance and want to make a claim, you will need a crime reference number from the police.
  • Take a look at our theft checklist to make a note of anything that you might need to deal with after a burglary.
  • We’ll give you and your family the emotional support you need to cope with the effects of the burglary and to think about the next steps.
  • We can give practical help to support you with filling out forms, dealing with insurance, and advice on how to cancel payment cards, record stolen items and replace stolen documents.
  • We’ll help you get advice about security systems, locks and repairs.
  • We can put you in touch with other organisations that can help if there are problems we can’t deal with – we can also liaise with them on your behalf if you want us to.
  • We can help you to deal with other agencies, such as the police or housing department, and give you information about the police and court procedures.
When you report a crime to the police, they should automatically ask you if you would like help from an organisation like Victim Support. But anyone affected by crime can contact us directly if they want to – you don’t need to talk to the police to get our help.

You can contact us by:

Alternatively you can create a free account on My Support Space – an online resource containing interactive guides (including a guide on home safety) to help you manage the impact that crime has had on you.

If English is not your first language and you would like some support, call our Supportline and let us know which language you speak, and we will call you back with an interpreter as soon as possible. We also welcome calls via Relay UK on 18001 08 08 16 89 111.

Families and friends affected by crime can also contact us for support and information. If you’re a child or young person under 18 and are looking for support, visit our You & Co website, where we have lots of information and tips specifically for children and young people.

Last year there were 438,971 burglaries reported to the police, a 9% increase on the previous year.  Although there was no change in burglary as measured by the 2017 Crime Survey for England and Wales (estimated 689,000 incidents) it is thought, as burglaries are relatively well-reported, that this is likely to reflect a genuine increase.

Last year Victim Support contacted 125,123 victims of burglary to offer them information and specialist support. Many people found useful information and advice on our webpages. 12,461 burglary victims were provided with specialist support tailored to their needs to help them to cope and recover.

A checklist of things to think about after you've experienced a burglary, theft or fraud.

Tips on protecting your home from burglars.