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A robbery is when someone takes something from you with violence or threats – often, but not always, in the street or another public place. Robbery is also known as mugging, and even if you are not physically hurt, it’s still classed as a violent crime.

Girl looks scared on her phone is being approached by a young boy

Even if you’re not physically hurt during a robbery, it can really upset you because you have been threatened with violence or someone has used force to steal from you.


Being confronted by a thief, who might have a weapon, can be a frightening experience for anyone.


Coping with the effects of robbery

It’s scary enough being the victim of a robbery at all, but sometimes it can happen more than once. You may become a victim as part of bullying, or even harassment. Or you may be targeted because of your identity – perhaps your race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, or because of your disability – which is known as hate crime.

So if you’ve been affected by the crime, whether you’re upset, scared, sad or angry, 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.

Why do I feel like this?

How you react to robbery 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 take or destroy your things.

However you’ve been affected, you are likely to experience a normal response to the shock and fear that robbery causes. A lot of robbery 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. You may be afraid of becoming a victim again, making you nervous about going out and being in public places.

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 robbery 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:

  • 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.
  • Think about reporting it to the police. If you think you are at immediate risk of getting hurt, call 999.
  • 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 theft and robbery. You can find more information on the Police.UK website
  • Talk to your friends; a good friend will listen to you and may help you speak to an adult. 

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


Asking for help

Are you thinking about reporting?