Crime is terrible not just for the crimes committed but for the victimisation that goes hand in hand with it.
I was pregnant when my house was broken into and we were robbed. What was not taken was damaged. They even stole our car and burnt it 4 hours later. The thieves were disappointed that all the boxes I had were paper work ready for storage, so they opened each box and scattered the papers. There were their footprints all over the papers. They were not afraid of getting caught. They found our alcohol and drank some. They even left half drunk open bottles.
Luck was on my side, as we were due to arrive from holiday the night we were robbed, but got delayed by a day. We would have probably been attacked if we were in the house when it happened. I was 7 months pregnant. Not something I want to imagine.
We arrived home at just after lunch time. We called the police. They asked us to remain off the property till they arrived. We waited in our car. One hour, Two Hours. We called them, they said they were on the way. Three Hours, Four Hours. We called again, after all I was 7 month pregnant and waiting in the car! We were told to go in and wait for them but to avoid touching anything.
The police turned up in the middle of the night! Admittedly, I gave them permission to come in the middle of the night, otherwise they would not have come until the next day. Needless to say, I did not sleep a wink that night. To date, I still don’t feel safe when in that house. We were lucky, we were moving. I cannot imagine just how horrifying it would be to constantly live with the feeling of lack of safety.
I was told to wait until they came to take fingerprints and to avoid touching anything. It took 3 days for them to come. Can you imagine being in your home and trying to touch nothing.
They took loads of stuff. Most covered by our insurance. Our insurance took longer to pay us that the time it takes to create a baby. Although the items were financially covered, anything with sentimental value can never be covered. The damage they caused was heartbreaking. Living in the mess they caused for 3 days was devastating.
To make matters worse, the detective tried to insinuate that we were somehow involved. Seriously. If I were ever to plan something so heinous, would I seriously do it while pregnant? I was not even in the UK at the time!
They got away. Nothing was ever retrieved. No-one saw anything. I have not heard from the police since. My heart still pounds away whenever I stay in that house, as I occasionally do. I lock, double lock and barely rest. I still don’t feel safe.
So the question I put to you, is who caused the greater victimisation…. the theft or the manner in which I was treated by the system?