Has your child been the victim of theft?
Finding out, or suspecting that your child has been the victim of theft or has been robbed can be upsetting. But it's likely that there's nothing you could have done to prevent it.
If it's an ongoing problem, maybe it's part of a bigger issue - perhaps they're being bullied and having money or belongings stolen from them is part of how the bully is getting at them.
If you think that might be the case, take a look at our section about bullying. Either get the facts about bullying, or for more info on how you can actually help them visit Are you worried your child is being bullied?
If you think the theft is more of a one-off incident here's what you and your child can do:
Reporting the theft
Having personal items stolen is serious so it's important the stolen item is reported to the police.
We will do everything we can to recover your child's belongings; however it is, of course not always possible. If your child has insurance for the item, they'll almost certainly need a police crime report carried out before the insurance company will pay out or send a replacement.
To report a theft you have these options:
- You could go to your nearest police station or speak to your Safer Schools Officer or Safer Neighbourhoods Team. If it's an emergency dial 999.
- Call 101 - our non-emergency phone-number.
- Report it online on the main Metropolitan Police Service website (some items cannot be reported online, such as mobile phones, so check first)
- If you feel unable to talk to the police, you could call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111
- Or for more information visit our How to contact us page on this site.
Other tips for when your child has had something stolen
Mobile phones are one of the most commons item to be stolen. Here's what you or your child needs to do:
Call their phone service provider and report the theft as soon as they can. The service provider can stop the phone working so that the thief won't be able to use it. If they don't have the number for the service provider, you or they can call the Immobilise on 08701 123 123. Immobilise will give them the right information so that the phone can be quickly blocked across all networks in the UK, even if the SIM card has been changed.
Contact their bank. They need to cancel any stolen bank or credit card as soon as possible so that it cannot be used.
Money can be very difficult to replace because there's often little way of proving it belonged to someone or how much was stolen. If your son or daughter has had money stolen and it happened at school, they should report it to their teacher. For larger amounts you should report it to the police as insurance companies may be able to replace the money.
Change the locks on your house if their keys were taken, even if you don't think that the thief knows where you live. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Getting more help
Being robbed can be a traumatic event. It does help to talk to your child about it. If you don't think they're going to open up to you, you may want to encourage them to call an organisation such as ChildLine on 0800 1111.