A robbery is when someone takes something from you with violence or threats – often, but not always, in the street or another public place. Robbery is also known as mugging, and even if you are not physically hurt, it’s still classed as a violent crime.

This content has been written for children and young people. If you’re looking for information for over 18s, visit our Types of Crime information about robbery.

Being confronted by a thief, who might have a weapon, can be a frightening experience for anyone.

Even if you’re not physically hurt during a robbery, it can really upset you because you have been threatened with violence or someone has used force to steal from you.

Woman holding handbag.

It’s scary enough being the victim of a robbery at all, but sometimes it can happen more than once. You may become a victim as part of bullying, or even harassment. Or you may be targeted because of your identity – perhaps your race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, or because of your disability – which is known as hate crime.

So if you’ve been affected by the crime, whether you’re upset, scared, sad or angry, there are people you can talk to and who can help you cope with what’s happened. And if you decide you want to report the crime to police, it will be taken seriously.

How you react to robbery will depend on many factors, and everyone will respond differently. But however you feel, remember that it’s never your fault. Only the offender is to blame and nobody has the right to take or destroy your things.

However you’ve been affected, you are likely to experience a normal response to the shock and fear that robbery causes. Many robbery victims feel angry, upset or afraid immediately after the crime. Many young people find that these feelings go away over time, but there are no rules and how you react is personal to you.

You may find that you have no reaction straight away but later on you may start to feel more upset about what’s happened. The effects of a crime like this can last a long time. You may be afraid of becoming a victim again, making you nervous about going out and being in public places.

Being a victim of robbery can make you feel worried, sad, scared or angry, especially if you feel like you’re trying to deal with this all on your own. Lots of young people find that it can help if they talk to someone. Some things you can do are:

  • Talk to an adult you trust – this could be a family member, a teacher, your youth worker, social worker or support worker. Tell them what’s happened and how it has made you feel. It can be difficult to know how to have this conversation; we have some tips on asking for help.
  • Think about reporting it to the police. If you think you are at immediate risk of getting hurt, call 999.
  • If you feel unsafe because of what’s happened, talk to your trusted adult about developing a safety plan that would help you choose how best to keep yourself safe.
  • You might want to sit with your trusted adult and look through some practical advice about how to stay safe from robbery. You can find more information on the Police.UK website.
  • Talk to your friends; a good friend will listen to you and may help you speak to an adult.

If you are worried about a friend, we have some tips on how you can start the conversation and get them the right help

Victim Support’s Children and Young People Services – you can contact your nearest Victim Support office, call the 24/7 Supportline, contact us via live chat, or if you are 16 or older, you can create a My Support Space account. This is a free, safe and secure online space where you can work through interactive guides to help you move forward after crime.

ChildLine – 24-hour support for young people, both on the phone and through online chats and message boards, on crime, safety and a range of other issues: 0800 1111.

The Mix – information for under 25s on a whole range of issues. Get confidential help by email, text, webchat or phone: 0808 808 4994.

Crimestoppers – if you want to provide information about a crime without talking to the police, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.