The cost of a burglary is not just measured in the items stolen. A break-in can have a profound psychological impact; many people feel uncomfortable in their own homes for weeks or even months after the event. It is deeply unsettling to find that the safety of your home has been violated. Many of us curse the burglars and wish that we had been present to prevent them running away – but stopping a burglar can be very dangerous. In this post, we discuss what you should do if you discover a burglary in progress.
If you’re at home
It is one of the most frightening things that can happen: waking up in the night and hearing strangers inside your house. The first thing to do is to call the police. Their response will vary depending on the circumstances, but they will move rapidly. Although it might be tempting to storm downstairs and confront the thieves, this course of action may provoke panic, and a panicking criminal will be unpredictable. You should instead make sure all of the members of your family are safe and retreat to one room, locking the door if possible. It will be unpleasant to think of thieves taking your valuables, but it’s better than a family member getting hurt.
If you’re returning home
You may get home after an evening out and see something strange. If your door is ajar or even damaged, or if a window is broken or unexpectedly open, it may be a sign that a burglary is in progress. Even if it appears that the thieves have already left, do not rush inside. They might be in a different part of the house or even hiding out of view. Instead, call the authorities and retreat to a safe distance. If you have neighbours, alert them to the situation.
When speaking to the police, make sure to note down any details you can – if you see a car you don’t recognise outside your house, this may belong to the thieves. Take a note of its number plate. If you do see the burglars, try to note down any distinguishing features. This will help police track them down.
Your best bet at dealing with burglars is to make sure your home isn’t an easy target. They are typically opportunistic thieves, so make sure your security is up to scratch. If you have an alarm box, keep it well-maintained; a dirty or disused looking box is a signal to thieves that you don’t take your security seriously. Likewise, keep your home looking presentable. Make sure garden equipment is safely locked away.
A comprehensive, integrated security system will provide the extra security you and your family needs. Additional technology like CCTV and security gates are excellent visible deterrents. Anything that forces a thief out into the open will put them off trying to break in.
If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to protect your home and your family, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.