What to do in the aftermath of a burglary and how to avoid being retargeted

We have all been there, left a window open accidentally, forgotten to set our house alarm or simply just thought extra precautions were unnecessary. Unfortunately though, sometimes burglars can spot an opportunity and it can leave us feeling very vulnerable. After having your belongings taken and personal space violated, you do not need the added stress of having to research what to do after a burglary. 

We have compiled a list of all the things you should do straight after discovering an intrusion, so you know the steps to take to help you catch the perpetrator.  

1. Call the police

While it may seem obvious, 45% of burglaries go unreported every year. Some people feel there is little  point in informing the police because  they don’t believe it will get resolved. However, by informing the police, they are made aware and alerted should any other homes in your area are targeted. At the very least, you could help prevent a neighbour from falling and  victim to a similar fate. 

The police may ask for a witness statement, which is just a way to formally record everything you may have seen. This allows the police to keep a formal record to go back to when necessary. Report every detail, for example if any GPS devices were stolen such as mobile phones. 

Ensure that you keep the crime reference number that the police give you, as this will be handy for both insurance purposes as well as keeping up to date with the case. The police should keep you informed and in the loop regarding any recent charges or inquiries. 

2. Make an insurance claim

For stolen valuables, you need to call your insurance company as early as possible. Their contact number can be found on your home insurance policy. Once again, it is important to describe everything in as much detail as possible. Give your insurance company  the crime reference number, as well as images in each room, noting down what has been stolen.

This will be useful information if you need to make a claim, which you can submit online or through a claims assessor who may come to your house. 

3. Quickly deal with individual stolen items

Items such as: 

  • Passports/ID – Report them missing to your insurer as well as the passport office and DVLA
  • Debit/Credit Cards – Call your bank to let them know they were stolen and cancel them immediately.
  • Keys- Change the locks in your home in case the burglar decides to come back. Visit your garage to reprogram the locks of your car. 

4. Check for any exterior building damage

Building insurance usually covers any external damage like broken locks or smashed windows. If you are renting or are a leaseholder, your landlord should cover this. It is extremely important that you sort out new windows and locks right away as burglars are known to come back, especially if there is structural damage.

Final steps

While contacting your insurance company, any information should be detailed and accurate.Try to accurately estimate the value of your stolen items, without exaggerating or underestimating. For items that are worth the excess of a “single article limit”, you should still list them. If you have any further issues with your insurance, you have 6 months from deadlock to contact the financial services ombudsman. 

For the future: 

  • Keep receipts for large purchases 
  • Take photos of high value items and store them in the cloud or similar service.

Ensure you are not invalidating your insurance policy and read the small print on what types of locks are required. Some small print also mention posting details of holiday plans on social media can invalidate your policy or leaving the property unoccupied for a lengthy period of time. 

Secure your home now

With over 55 years of experience, Abel can help you secure your home with our large variety of burglar alarms, door and window alarms, CCTV  cameras and smart home systems, designed to give you peace of mind. Contact 0116 2654200 to discuss your requirements or email us at info@abelalarm.co.uk

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