A robbery is when someone takes something from you with violence or threats, usually – but not always – in the street or another public place. It’s classed as a violent crime, and can sometimes happen in relation to other crimes. For example, gang violence, hate crime or antisocial behaviour. Although it’s a relatively common crime, the impact it has on you can still be very damaging.

Even if you’re not physically hurt during a robbery, it can be distressing to be threatened with violence or if someone uses force to steal from you. So even without injury, it’s still classed as a violent crime.

Being confronted by a thief, who might have a weapon, can be a frightening experience for anyone. How you react will depend on many different factors – not just the crime, but things about you as a person and how you cope with difficult events in your life. Everyone will respond differently but however you feel, remember it’s never your fault. Only the offender is to blame and nobody has the right to take or destroy your things.

Most people experience a normal response of shock and fear after being robbed. You may have no reaction straight afterwards, but later on you might start to feel more distressed by the events. The repercussions of a crime like this can last a long time. You may be afraid of experiencing a robbery again, making you nervous about going out and being in public places.

If you’ve been a victim of crime, you’ll need to decide whether or not to tell the police. If you’re unsure, we have more information about reporting a crime and what happens afterwards.

Remember, we can support you whether you decide to involve the police or not.

If you choose to report a crime, you can do this in several ways:

  • If it’s an emergency or if you’re being robbed or physically attacked now, call 999 and ask for the police.
  • If it’s not an emergency you can report robbery to the police by calling 101. You can also go to your local police station to report the crime there.
  • If you want to report the crime anonymously you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or report online.

Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of robbery and keep yourself safe:

  • Be alert: pay attention to your surroundings and people around you.
  • Look confident: walk with purpose and stay alert.
  • Know your route and stick to well-lit, busy areas.
  • Keep valuables out of sight: try not to use your mobile in the street to prevent someone snatching it, and keep purses and wallets hidden.

Many people find it helpful to talk to someone after experiencing crime. Every year our supporters help thousands of people who have been affected by robbery, and you can talk to them in confidence. They’re also trained to give you information on compensation and the criminal justice system.

(You will need to report the crime to the police as soon as possible in order to receive any compensation for injuries.)

You may be able to apply for compensation if you’ve been injured because of a violent crime.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is funded by the government. It’s run by an agency called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

You have two years to apply, and the crime has to be reported to the police.

Find out more about compensation, and if you’re eligible and how to claim.

If your injuries aren’t covered by the scheme, the CICA can sometimes make payments for some loss of earnings due to the injury. The Hardship Fund provides temporary financial support to very low paid workers who have to take time off work because they’ve been a victim of violent crime.

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 robbery) to help you manage the impact crime has had on you.

If English is not your first language and you would 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.

Further support and information:

  • My Support Space: Victim Support’s online resource with interactive guides to help you move forward after crime
  • Met Police: protect yourself from street robbery
  • Sentencing Council: the difference between theft, robbery and burglary