Burglary is an unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry of a residence for the purpose of committing a criminal offence, usually theft. Victims of burglary not only lose items of value, some of which are personal or irreplaceable, but the emotional shock of having your property invaded can be deeply upsetting.

These items are then usually sold on cheap. If you're offered cheap items which seem too good to be true, it could mean that they're stolen goods. It may be a bargain to the person buying them - but to the victim, it's stolen memories and it continues their trauma.

Criminals look for a number of signs to detect an empty home. How can you protect your property from intruders?

When are you most likely to be a victim of burglary?

  • Whenever you’re away from home.
  • When you’re home but busy or asleep.
  • After Christmas when criminals know you have new and expensive presents in the house.

Make your home secure

There are a variety of ways to make your home more secure for the future. While some security measures can be expensive, there are other things you can do that cost much less:

  • Leave lights or a radio on when you go out. Luton Safer
  • Check that all doors and windows are properly closed and locked.
  • Don’t leave side gates open and make sure they’re secure.
  • Don’t leave accessible windows open at night.
  • Keep ladders out of sight.
  • Break up packaging for electrical goods (TVs, laptops etc) and put it all in your recycling box. Leaving it outside will alert a burglar to your new purchase.

What is distraction burglary?

Distraction burglary is where the offenders trick or dupe the occupant or distract them, allowing the other person they are working with to gain access to the property and commit burglary. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to distraction burglary.

Annabelle Goodenough, Region Manager, said: “Being burgled is not just about losing possessions, it also robs you of feeling safe at home. People should be able to feel secure and confident in their own homes. Burglars rarely give a second thought to the suffering they cause to others, and we would ask the public to help us beat them by providing any information they can”.

How you can you help?

No one has anything to fear by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously with this sort of information.

We’re a charity that gives people the power to speak up to stop crime. We won’t ask for any personal details, including your name. When you hang up the phone (0800 555 111) or click ‘send’ on our online form, you’re done. No police, no witness statements or courts.

You can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 - or fill in our secure online form.