Study reveals impact of burglary

Herald Series: Police have been urged to do more to help victims of burglary Police have been urged to do more to help victims of burglary

One in four victims of burglary have experienced mental health issues, such as anxiety or symptoms of depression, after a break-in, according to new research.

The research also found that one in four (25%) adults felt their ability to keep their family safe was affected by a break-in.

Victims also experienced a heightened fear of becoming a victim of other crimes - 38% worried about being a victim of violent crime, and 37% were scared of street robbery.

The research, carried out by charity Victim Support and home security specialist ADT, surveyed 1,000 burglary victims to find out the impact of the crime.

They found despite victims' concerns, more than half of them surveyed (52%) said they did not hear anything back from police after reporting a burglary, and fewer than one in 10 (8%) knew that their burglar was arrested and their case heard in court.

Victim Support and ADT are calling on police forces to make sure they are doing everything to meet their responsibilities under the Government's new Victims' Code, which says that crime victims have a right to clear communication and updates from the police.

ADT's residential business director Mark Shaw said: "This new research shows the kind of emotional and psychological scars that burglars leave on their victims and highlights the significant number of victims who are left in the dark by the police."

He said taking steps to make homes more secure might help reduce victims' anxiety.

Adam Pemberton, assistant chief executive of Victim Support, said: "Burglary victims could get more peace of mind if the police kept them updated regularly on the progress of their case.

"This research indicates that the police's obligation to do this, set out in the Victims' Code, is not always being met.

"After a burglary, people can contact Victim Support for free help and advice as well as emotional support."

The research was carried out as part of Take No More, a campaign by ADT and Victim Support to run free crime prevention schemes for householders, increase awareness of support services for burglary victims, and try to ensure that those victims get justice in court.

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