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

Burglary 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 wellbeing and sense of security.

Not all stolen goods are replaceable and some people may lose items of significant sentimental and personal value. This can be very upsetting.

Even if nothing has been stolen, the thought of a stranger being in your home can be 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 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.

If you need help to cope with 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. Eg checking 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
    • passports
    • benefit documents
    • mobile phones
    • birth certificates
    • driving licences.
  • It’s important to tell banks and building societies as soon as possible so they can stop fraud and any further theft.
  • If you have home insurance and want to make a claim, you’ll need a crime reference number from the police.
  • Take a look at our theft checklist to make a note of anything you might need to deal with after a burglary.
  • We’ll give you and your family the support you need to cope with the effects of the burglary and to think about the next steps.
  • We can support you with filling out forms, dealing with insurance, and advice on how to cancel debit/credit 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 if you’d like help from an organisation like Victim Support. But anyone affected by crime can contact us directly – you don’t need to talk to the police to get our help.

You can get in touch by:

You can also create a free account on My Support Space – an online resource containing interactive guides (including a guide on feeling safe at home after burglary) to help you manage the impact crime has had on you.

If English is not your first language and you’d like support, call our Supportline and let us know which language you speak. We’ll call you back with an interpreter as soon as possible. We also welcome calls via Relay UK and SignLive (BSL).

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 children and young people website for information and tips.

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

Tips on protecting your home from burglars.