Being burgled is everyone's nightmare and here at Pick Me Locksmith we see the aftermath too often. We have listed 10 things we think you should do if you are unlucky enough to be the victim of a break in.
1. Call the police, do this as soon as possible; Don't enter the property if you think someone is still inside, make the call from your car or a neighbour's house. The quicker the police are informed the more chance there is of the thief being caught and any stolen goods being returned. You will need the crime reference number for your insurance claim.
2. Don't touch anything. Give the police the best chance to catch the thief by not disturbing any evidence they may have left behind. This could be fingerprints on doors and windows, or footprints around the house. Don't touch anything until the police have collected what they need.
3. Cancel bank cards. If you think there may be a chance cards or bank information has been taken you will need to cancel these immediately and inform your bank.
4. Re-secure your home. This is the point where we at Pick Me Locksmith get involved. Any broken locks or handles will need to be replaced, and other locks may require an upgrade. Some burglars will return if they have seen something they didn't take on their first visit.
5. Ensure all car keys are all accounted for. It is not uncommon for keys to be taken and the thieves to return for the car later.
6. Make a note of any stolen or damaged property. (This is where keeping lists of items/serial numbers can be helpful.) Go through each room and make a list of all items either taken or damaged. If possible take down any serial numbers or other identifying marks, this will help the police and your insurer.
7. Inform your insurer. Once the insurer has the crime reference number and the list of items you have had stolen, they will be able to start processing your claim.
8. Review home security. Using your recent experience, now is a good time to look at how the burglars entered your home, and try to identify if there is more you can do to avoid this happening again. Safer Homes, by the Derbyshire constabulary, is a good source of information on how to achieve this.
9. Get the support you need. Being burgled is a traumatic experience. The police can refer you to Victim Support, but you may want to contact them yourself. Victim Support is a volunteer service that provides free counseling to victims of crimes. You can find them online at https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/ or call them on 0808 1689111
10. Ensure you receive compensation. If someone is convicted of breaking in to your home the courts can order them to compensate you anyof the following:
- personal injury
- losses from theft or damage to property
- losses from fraud
- being off work
- medical expenses
- travel expenses
- pain and suffering
- loss, damage or injury caused to or by a stolen vehicle
You need to inform the police if you want to claim this .
Don't forget to look at our other blogs for more help and advice.