Robbery and Theft

What are Robbery and Theft?

Robbery is the stealing of belongings often using violence or threats. This can be a frightening and distressing experience and, even without injury, is considered a violent crime. Victims can often feel angry or frightened.

Theft is when someone takes something you own without you knowing it, such as pick pocketing. 

Being robbed or having your property stolen is not your fault and you may:

  • feel shocked, confused, angry, sad, powerless, or embarrassed
  • be upset, even if what was taken wasn't worth a lot of money
  • feel hopeless about whether anything can be done to get your property back
  • be afraid to go back to (or near) the place where the crime happened
  • feel suspicious of everyone around you

It is normal for victims to feel these emotions and emotional and practical support is available to help reduce the impact of the crime.  

If you have been a victim of robbery or theft and need further support, please use the search function to find an organisation who can help you. 

If you are worried about robbery and theft then you can find some practical advice that can help keep you and your property safe below:

Staying safe from robbery

  • If you have to walk alone at night take extra care. If possible stay on roads that are well lit and relatively busy.  Avoid short cuts that involve alleyways or walking across parks or commons unless they are well-lit.
  • If you're carrying a bag, try to have it across your chest and keep your hand over the fastening.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert to what's going on around you.
  • Be careful with your electronics; talking on a mobile phone, listening to an MP3 player or carrying a laptop bag shows thieves that you have something to steal.
  • Don't carry important documents or credit cards that you do not need.
  • Only take your wallet out when you need to.
  • If you think you are being followed, cross the road or go into a shop and stay there until you're sure you're safe.

Preventing personal theft

Be aware and keep your possessions safe:

  • Never leave your bags or other valuables unattended in public places.
  • Be discreet with your belongings; displaying expensive jewellery or electronic devices, like mobile phones could attract unwanted attention.
  • The most common item stolen in a robbery is a mobile phone, so keep your phone safe. If you’re not making a call keep your phone hidden away. Keep it in one of your front pockets or inside a bag.