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My house has been burgled

Burglary is when someone breaks into a building, for example your house, and steals, takes or pinches something.

Hand on a window frame

Burglary affects a lot of people every year.


It can leave you feeling upset, angry and scared that someone has been in your home, and taken some of your or your family’s things.


How do burglaries happen?

Burglaries can happen in many different ways. You and your family may have been away from home at the time, maybe someone tricked their way into your house, or perhaps you were busy or asleep when they broke in.

Most burglaries tend to be random rather than planned. Burglars usually choose houses that seem to have little or no security or know that the owners are on holiday or not home. There are certain times of the year where the amount of burglaries goes up, for example at Christmas when burglars know you have more valuables in the home or during summer when people leave windows open to stay cool.

Why do I feel like this?

How you react to burglary will depend on lots of different 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 break into your house, or take or destroy your things.

Even if nothing has been stolen, people are often upset at the thought that a stranger has been in their home. Sometimes people don’t feel secure in their home any more after a burglary, and a lot of burglary 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 afterwards, 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. If you’ve been affected by the crime, 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.

What can I do?

Being a victim of burglary 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. However, lots of young people find that it can help if they talk to someone. Some things you can do are:

  • Think about reporting it to the police. If you think you are at immediate risk of getting hurt, call 999.
  • Talk to an adult you trust – this could include a family member, a teacher your youth worker, social worker or support worker – about 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.
  • If you’re worried or 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 of the practical advice about how to stay safe from burglary with them. You can find more information on the Police.UK website
  • Be careful about what information you put on social networking sites, such as if you are going away or where you live. 
  • Speak to your local Safer Neighbourhood Team who are police in the local community about how to keep your home safe and secure.
  • Young people who’ve been a victim of burglary often ask 'why is this happening to me?'. It is important to know that this is not your fault and you can get help.

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

Who can help me?

You&Co – you can talk to one of our support workers on a one-to-one basis, and we can offer you help and support. We can give you advice on how crime can affect you and how to cope with it, what to do and what to expect if you decide to report a crime to police, and how to move on from being a victim of crime. You can find out about the support available nearest to you on this website.

ChildLine – ChildLine offer 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; call 0800 1111.

The Mix – this website provides information and support for 16-25 year olds on a whole range of issues, including rape and sexual assault as well as safe sexual relationships. Get confidential help by telephone, email, text or webchat, for young people under 25; call 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

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