How to cope with theft in the home.
It’s the nightmare scenario no home-owner ever wants to find themselves in. But if the worst happens and you’re the victim of theft in the home, what should you do? Keep calm and follow these steps…
1. Call the Police
The sooner the Police can get to the scene, the greater the chances of the perpetrator being apprehended. If you’re still outside your home and it’s obvious that it has been burgled, be very careful about going inside – the thief may still be there, so it’s safer to remain outside or knock on a neighbour’s door while you wait for help to arrive.
Once the Police have got to you and made an assessment of the scene of the crime, they’ll give you a crime reference number that you can use to report further evidence and keep up to date with the progress of any investigations.
2. Leave everything as it is
In a burglary, everything in your home becomes potential evidence that could contain the key to solving the crime. If you’ve walked into your home to find it’s been burgled, leave everything exactly as it is until the Police have had the chance to gather forensic evidence such as footprints, fingerprints and so on.
3. Figure out what’s missing
What has been stolen from your home? Draw up a list, room by room, of what possessions have been stolen or damaged. Try to be as specific as possible, describing items such as jewellery in such a way that it could be identified if found, and including specific makes and model numbers for any stolen technology.
If any of your bank cards have been stolen, don’t forget to call the bank and have them cancelled straightaway, and the same goes for reporting any other form of stolen ID, such as your passport or driving licence.
4. Call your insurer
Home insurance is there for exactly this kind of misfortune, so depending on the amount of cover you have, you should be able to make a claim for the cost of replacing stolen and damaged possessions. Your home insurance provider will need your crime reference number and the list you’ve drawn up of stolen and damaged items.
5. Make your home safe again
If thieves have forced their way in, they’ll probably have broken windows or damaged window or door frames. These will need to be replaced immediately to make your home safe again, and this is a good opportunity to review security throughout your home. You may wish to consider upgrading your locks, for example, or investing in a burglar alarm to help prevent this nightmare from happening again.
Don’t forget to tell your home insurer if you’ve taken any extra security precautions, as this can help lower the cost of your home insurance premium. If you’d like to talk to our home insurance team, check what cover you have in place or get a quote for home insurance, fill in this form and we’ll get back to you.