One in four burglary victims say it affected their mental health

2 June 2014

One in four burglary victims say they experienced mental health issues after a break-in, such as increased anxiety or symptoms of depression, according to new research from independent charity Victim Support and home security specialist ADT.

The study of 1,000 burglary victims, conducted to find out the real impact of the crime as part of the Take No More campaign, also revealed that one in four (25 per cent) adults felt their ability to keep their family safe was affected by a break-in.

The victims surveyed also experienced a heightened sense of fear of becoming a victim of other types of crime. Nearly two in five (38 per cent) worried about being a victim of violent crime and a similar number (37 per cent) were fearful of street robbery.

Despite these real concerns, more than half (52 per cent) of the victims surveyed said they did not hear anything back from the police after reporting the crime. And only 8 per cent of them knew that their burglar was arrested and their case was heard in court.

Victim Support and ADT are calling on all police forces to ensure that they are doing everything possible to meet their responsibilities under the government’s new Victims’ Code. The Victims’ Code says that crime victims have a right to clear communication and updates from the police.

Residential Business Director of ADT, Mark Shaw, said:

“This new research shows the kind of emotional and psychological scars that burglars leave on their victims. It highlights the significant number of victims who are left in the dark by the police.

“Taking steps to make homes more secure may help victims to feel safe and could help to reduce their anxiety, as we know the overwhelming majority of burglaries still take place in insecure properties.

“Homeowners can take precautionary measures, from simple checks like making sure windows and doors are locked before going to bed, to installing security measures that act as a deterrent to burglars.”

Assistant Chief Executive of Victim Support, Adam Pemberton, 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.”

ADT and Victim Support have pledged to work together for three years through the Take No More campaign to run free crime prevention schemes for householders, increase awareness of support services for burglary victims, and campaign to ensure that those victims get justice in court.

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