Dealing with the emotional effects of burglary
19 May 2020

Dealing with the emotional effects of burglary

Being a victim of burglary is something no one should have to experience, yet it is one of the most common crimes reported to the Police every year.

Suffering at the the hands of thieves can have lasting emotional effects. Whether an intruder has invaded your home or your business, the anxiety of knowing your security has been compromised can be more distressing than the potential loss of valuable or sentimental items.

In this article, we look at the effects burglary can have on mental health and where you can find sources of emotional support.

How common is burglary in the UK?

For the year ending December 2019, the Office for National Statistics recorded over 366,000 [1] burglary offences. That's approximately 1 in 180 people affected by burglary each year. While we can be positive about the fact Police recorded burglary incidents have slightly decreased over recent years, we cannot ignore the need to maintain a vigilant approach to protecting against and preventing this form of crime.


Why do people commit burglary?

The criminal acts of theft and intrusion can be traced back to the earliest civilisations. In early human settlements, thieves targeted the wealthy to steal food, textiles and materials. In today's modern world, sought after valuables include cash, jewellery, machinery, tools and electronics. Despite an increased focus on security, theft remains a risk to residents, small businesses and large organisations.

What drives someone to break into a private property and commit theft? Is it greed, jealousy, poverty or other factors? Regardless of why, theft is an awful crime and there's no place for it in today's society.

In an ideal world, the security of your home or business is something you wouldn't have to worry about. Unfortunately, this has never become a reality in human history, and it would be unrealistic to think this will ever be the case.


How does it feel to be burgled?

Your home is the place you should feel most at peace. It's where you sleep, where you spend time with family and where you keep your most treasured possessions and memories. Therefore, an invasion of your home by a burglar can leave you feeling a mixture of emotions, none of them positive.

Just knowing your security has been compromised can lead to feelings of emotional pain, stress, anxiety and fear that you are no longer safe. For many burglary victims, this far outweighs the loss of the material items that were targeted by the burglar in the first place.

83% [2] of domestic burglary victims expressed they were emotionally affected by the experience. Feelings such as anger, annoyance, shock and fear were recorded as the most popular types of emotional response.

The most important thing to remember is that suffering a burglary is not your fault, and there are people and organisations  who can help provide you with emotional support and advice on moving forward.


Where can you receive emotional support about a burglary?

If you are unlucky enough to be burgled, knowing what to do first and where to turn to for advice may be confusing and unclear. Based on our experience of helping customers improve their security as a result of a burglary, here are some of the best places to seek support and reassurance.

Contact the Police

This is always the first thing you should do if you find your home or business premises has been broken in to. If you believe you are in immediate danger, or a crime is in progress, call 999. Try not to touch anything and wait for the Police to arrive. If it is not an emergency, you should call 101. They are specially trained to help you come to terms with what's happened and will explain what you need to do. Their primary concern is to support you and help track down those responsible. Therefore, you should expect to be asked some simple questions that may help with their investigations.

Take your time

Burglary is a frightening experience and it might take you some time to get over the initial shock. You should take as much time as you need to come to terms with your feelings.

Speak to your family and friends

Keeping in touch with family and friends can be a vital support in times of distress and you should speak to them if you are anxious, scared or just want someone to talk to about your concerns. You may be worried about being at home alone, in fear of a burglar returning. If this is the case, don't be afraid to ask for someone to visit to keep you company until you feel more confident about being at home.

Reach out to support organisations

There are many dedicated emotional support services available to you, should you want to talk to someone impartial about your incident. Victim Support is one of the most well-known charities available for you to contact, 24 hours a day. You can visit their website or call 08 08 16 89 111.

Where can I get advice on my security?

Here at Allcooper, we specialise in protecting homes and businesses with electronic security systems. These include Intruder Alarms, CCTV systems and other measures to help you reduce the risk of being targeting by burglars.

If you would like advice about your home security or business security needs, please contact us on 01452 372626 or and we'll be happy to help.

Where can I find out more about Mental Health support?

If you have any immediate concerns, you should also contact your Doctor or GP. The Mental Health Foundation website is also a great place to start if you are looking for initial advice on mental health. There are lots of useful resources available there, as well as links to several mental health charities who you can speak to at any time, such as Samaritans and Mind.

Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK runs from 18-24 May and aims to raise awareness of mental health and the various resources available if you need someone to talk to.

[1] Crime in England and Wales: year ending December 2019
[2] Crime in England and Wales: Nature of crime - Burglary


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