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Updated by Mark Gibbons on Dec 09, 2015
Headline for What to Do If a Neighbour Is Being Burgled
Mark Gibbons Mark Gibbons
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What to Do If a Neighbour Is Being Burgled

There are many measures you can take to secure your home and prevent a break in, but what would you do if you witnessed a burglary underway at a neighbour’s house? Perhaps the homeowner is away, unaware of the situation or unable to call for help. This can be a stressful experience and although you may want to help them, you do need to be careful about keeping yourself safe in the process.


Keep out of sight

On spotting suspicious activity or a crime being committed in your neighbourhood, the most important thing to remember is not to expose yourself to any danger as you may not be able to fully gage any burglars’ behaviour or whether they are armed. You must make sure you are out of sight and do not give any indication that you are aware of their presence. If you can, still try to observe the intruders but not at your own risk.


Secure your home

Secure your home

The next thing to do is to lock your doors and windows, so that you can be kept safe if anything should happen. If you have a home security system in place, ensure this is on and working properly.


Alert the police

As soon as you are aware of signs of criminal activity occurring around a neighbour’s home, call the police and calmly inform them of the situation, requesting immediate help. You can’t be sure that your neighbour is in and that they’ve done this already.


Note down the details

Note down the details

Only if it is safe to do so, you’ll be able to help your neighbours and the police by writing down any relevant information about the burglars and the incident. If you can, try to note down everything you can recall, such as what they’re wearing, if you saw their faces or if they have a vehicle with them and you can see the number plate. Remember that you cannot risk putting yourself into danger even if you want to go outside and find out more.


Remain inside

Remain inside

Until the police arrive, stay inside. Although you may feel nervous about being so close to a crime happening, you shouldn’t try to go outside as this may compromise your safety.


Support your neighbour

Once the scene has been cleared you may want to offer your support to the neighbour, as they may feel scared or upset, even if nothing was stolen or they were away from home. They may welcome the show of support and appreciate your help, or they may prefer to be left alone, however offering is important as a neighbour and they may be more willing to help you in future should you experience a problem.


Team up

If you’re cautious about burglary happening in the area, or you’d like to keep your area as safe as possible, it’s worth getting to know your neighbours so that you’ll feel more comfortable in the event of a burglary and you can discuss measures that you can all take to secure your homes. Joining a neighbourhood watch scheme or investing in security cameras, are good ways to keep you and your valuables safe, as well as helping to protect your neighbours at the same time.