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Theft and burglary top victims’ helpline calls

At a time when crime in rural areas in Clare has become an all to frequent occurrence, it has emerged calls regarding burglary and theft made up almost one-third of contacts with the National Crime Victims Helpline last year.

With 29% of calls dealing with burglary and theft, this was followed closely by assault (25%) and harassment (20%), according to the organisation’s annual report.

Michele Puckhaber, Helpline coordinator, said, “Many people understand how an assault can be traumatising to a victim but may discount the serious impact of crimes such as burglary and theft. When your home is burgled or there has been an attempt to break in, people can experience strong emotional reactions, or feel a loss of control. Your home is the place where you expect to feel safe. A burglary can take away from feelings of safety and control.”

Burglary can be particularly devastating to families with children. Many people who ring into the Helpline are looking for information on how to help their children after a break-in.

Ms Puckhaber advises, “It is important that children are provided with the opportunity to ask questions and talk about their feelings after a burglary. Adults should do whatever they can to help children feel safe again in their home. This may mean temporarily changing the sleeping arrangements, leaving lights on, or adding security.”

Ms Puckhaber added, “Many people will deal with crime by talking with family and friends—for others independent assistance may be helpful. The Crime Victims Helpline provides these people with an opportunity to discuss their feelings in a confidential manner with a trained volunteer.”

The National Helpline number is 116 006. The number for texts is 085 133 7711. Email is info@crimevictimshelpline.ie.

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