WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’VE BEEN BURGLED
Being burgled is any homeowner’s worst nightmare. If you’ve just been burgled, you’re likely to be feeling frightened, angry and vulnerable – and quite possibly overwhelmed by what to do first. We’ve got the best useful information here about what to do if someone breaks into your house and might need an emergency locksmith and how to make your home secure for the future.
We focus on what to do in Hertfordshire, as it is our local area, but we hope you’ll find our burglary prevention advice and links are helpful to all everywhere.
What to do when you’ve been burgled?
- Make your home secure again
- Notify the police – call 101 or the local numbers – see below
- Inform your insurance company
- Seek support if you need to talk to someone about how you feel
First of all, please make your home secure and notify the police. Our local area is St Albans, Harpenden, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Edgware and the surrounding Hertfordshire area. For reporting the burglary in your area, you need to call 101 or 01707 354000. It is important that you phone to report the burglary. Not many police stations have open office counters but the police are available by phone.
Burgled? What to do? If you’re in St Albans, here’s what to do
If you’ve been the victim of a burglary in St Albans, you need to start by contacting the local police. There is no front counter service at the police station in St Albans (Victoria Street, St Albans AL1 3JL) so call St Albans Police on 101 or 01707 354000. You cannot report the burglary or any crime via social media but you might find useful information about current criminal activity in St Albans online via Twitter or on Facebook
You’ll need to call a locksmith in St Albans to re-secure your home so that you can feel safe again. Their job is to secure your property, and also to advise you on ways that you can make your home more secure for the future. Installing a burglar alarm can help you feel safe in your home again.
Burglaries in Harpenden – important information
If you live in Harpenden and need to report a burglary, the local police station (15 Vaughan Road, Harpenden AL5 4GZ.) does not have a front counter service so the number to call is 101 or 01707 354000.
There is plenty of support available following the traumatic experience of being burgled. If you live in Harpenden, Victim Support is an excellent organisation providing support following a burglary.
Burgled in Watford – all you need to know
To report a burglary in Watford, the address for the Police Station is Shady Lane, Watford WD17 1DD. Watford does have a counter service and its opening hours are Monday – Thursday from 8am-11pm, Friday and Saturday from 8am-midnight and Sunday from 10am-8pm. The number to call is 101 or 01707 354000.
Calling your insurance company is another crucial step that often gets forgotten as people are so overwhelmed by the experience of being burgled. It’s important to call at an early stage because your insurers may have a preferred supplier for repair works after the burglary in your home.
If you live in Watford and need support following a burglary, the South West Hertfordshire branch of Victim Support can be contacted on 01923 212766.
What to do if you’re burgled in Hemel Hempstead
Your first priority is to report the crime and you do this by calling 101 or 01707 354000. The Hemel Hempstead Police Station is located on Combe Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 1HL but does not have a front counter service. You might want to follow the local Hemel police on Twitter. The post photos of recovered items and share updates on their work when they can.
Once you’ve had the chance to make your home secure again, you may want to get involved in your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
If you’ve been burgled in Hemel Hempstead and need support, contact: www.hertfordshirebeacon.org or phone their hotline on 0300 011 55 55.
Dealing with a burglary in Edgware
If you live in Edgware and need to report a burglary, contact your local police station at Edgware Police Station, Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, Middlesex HA8 6LB. The number to call is 101 or 020 8721 2992. The Edgware Safer Neighbourhoods Team can also provide helpful support and advice.
Victim Support and other help available to you
- Victim Support is a national organisation providing support following a burglary.
- Recommended by Hertfordshire Police, victim support also offered by the Beacon Victim Care Centre Their hotline number 0300 011 55 55 is open from 7am – 10pm every day.
- Windows Damaged? If your windows have been damaged, you may need a 24-hour window replacement company and we recommend searching for your nearest through Checkatrade.
- The Hertfordshire Home Safety Service provides a range of free and low cost services and is available to all residents of the county and is funded by monies recovered from criminal activity.
- Neighbourhood Watch Schemes are an excellent way to engage in your local community and work together to reduce the risk of burglary and other crimes.
To help avoid being burgled again, here are our top tips
According to the UK Home Office, homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures.
- Simple steps such as installing a letter box guard or making rear doors open outwards can make a big difference in helping you to feel safe again.
- Always lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden. Remember to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn the key)
- Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition and secure
- Do not leave your keys or valuables out on display and always away from your letter box.
- Consider installing a visible burglar alarm
- Lighting is a vital deterrent to burglars as they don’t like to operate in good light.
- Join Neighbourhood Watch or ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home.
- Lighting or radios on a timer can help make the property appear occupied
- Keep ladders and tools stored away; don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
- Keep your garden as tidy and clear as possible which will improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges