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Home burglary

Burglary can be a very upsetting for the victims. We understand that burglary in your home can feel like a personal crime and an invasion of your personal space.


Please follow these simple tips to help improve your home security.

Tips for the home:

  • Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you're just out in the garden
  • Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
  • Consider installing good outside lighting
  • Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
  • Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
  • Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
  • Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away; don't leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
  • Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows

Download leaflet: pdf icon Home Burglary - advice sheet [172kb]

If the worst does happen and you find that your home has been broken into, you can help us bring the offender to justice and potentially recover items stolen by following this forensic advice:

  • Limit what you touch around your home. It is tempting to try and establish exactly what has been taken, but every surface you touch may be destroying potential fingerprint or DNA evidence.
  • Broken windows should be left alone. Intruders have been known to leave DNA evidence on broken glass. If you clear the frame of broken glass prior to police arrival, you will also have cleared the potential for evidence to be obtained. 
  • Limit walking about within your home. Intruders can leave footwear marks which can be retrieved by our Crime Scene Investigators
  • Any items or tools discarded by the intruder should be left where they are. If you see anything which does not belong in your home, leave it alone and let the officer know about it.

When reporting a burglary to the police you will be asked a number of questions relating to the incident. We will ask you to explain what has happened, when it happened, what was stolen and if there is any evidence that can help our investigation.

Following a report of a burglary, we will appoint an investigating officer who may take some or all of the following steps during the investigation:

  • Obtain a statement from the victim and any other witnesses who may be identified.
  • Conduct door to door enquiries in the area. 
  • Establish if there is CCTV footage in the area
  • Task a crime scene investigator to attend and search for fingerprint or other evidence.
  • Make attempts to trace stolen property through appeals and other channels

Where a burglary occurs in a shed or outbuilding at your home after an assessment by control room staff, a telephone investigator will record your crime. You will be asked a number of questions relating to the incident.

What you can do?

  • Identify any location of CCTV and you may be asked to assist in its retention
  • A crime scene investigator will be considered if any item has been left behind by the offender.  In that case you will be asked to leave it insitu unless evidence maybe lost due to adverse weather. You would then be asked to recover it using a clean plastic bag to a sheltered dry location
  • Name any possible witnesses after speaking to your neighbours

Business burglary

Business burglary includes all buildings or parts of buildings that are used solely and exclusively for business purposes.

Victim Advice Line (VAL)

If you find that your office/business or shop has been broken into, you can help us bring the offender to justice and potentially recover items stolen by following the forensic advice in this sheet. The Investigating officer will then complete their crimes enquiries in a similar way to the home burglary.

The Secured by Design website will give you advice and information on products tested to a national standard which are designed to reduce crime at home, or commercial premise.

We understand that everyone's experience of crime is different. Here in West Mercia we have introduced Victim Advice Line (from 1 April 2019), a service specifically developed to provide emotional and practical support for victims of crime. 
The service is free and confidential and is available even if you choose not to report a crime.
We want to make things as easy as possible for you. When we speak for the first time, we'll often already know a little about what happened, so you won't need to tell your story again and again. 
We'll carry out a needs and risk assessment so we know exactly what kind of help and support you need.
We'll also assign you your own Care Coordinator, who'll be there for you throughout your journey to ensure those needs are met, and that you always have someone to talk to. Your Care Coordinator will put together a package of help and support that's specially tailored to your situation, from relevant advice booklets to contact numbers for counselling and other support services - whatever they feel you might need. 
If you'd like them to, they can also refer you on to other specialist services outside of Victim Advice Line. As well as helping you cope and recover, we'll give you tools and techniques to stay strong after you've left us, so you're less likely to be a victim in the future.
Victim Advice Line will be there for you as long as you need us. If you want someone to talk to at a later date, you can always contact us and refer yourself back in. 

For further information please visit the Victim Advice Line website or call the team on: 0800 952 3000
Lines are open Monday-Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm.

Victim Advice Line (VAL)
Victim Advice Line (VAL)