West Yorkshire Victim Speaks out in Support of Burglary Campaign

""Natalie Starr
Natalie Starr

Thursday, 23rd November, 2017

West Yorkshire Police has released the final extract from a series of interviews with burglary victim Natalie Starr.

The West Yorkshire mother-of-two has shared her experiences to help highlight how deeply distressing burglary can be after she returned home from a family dog walk to find her house had been burgled.

The interview has been shared online through the Force's key social media channels.

Natalie, aged 35, said:

“I didn’t really ever believe it would happen to me. I thought I lived in a very safe home. I felt very secure. We always talked about adding additional security but I felt safe enough for it not to be on top of the priority list.”

Natalie later discovered it had taken little more than a minute for intruders to search each of the rooms in her house.

Natalie said: “They had been in and out of the property in 19 minutes; from arriving and knocking on the door to getting inside the house and going through 11 rooms of the property. Every single cupboard, drawer, the baby boxes with all our memories and bits and pieces to see if anything valuable was in there.

“Our office was particularly bad. They just turned over all of our files; all of our paperwork.”

Natalie agreed to share her experiences to highlight how vulnerable the burglary made her feel and the devastating impact the crime has had on her and her family.

“The biggest upset was actually going through the babies’ things and going through the children’s rooms and thinking there might be something expensive in a toy box or a baby’s memory box,” she said.

“The impact has been far more than I ever anticipated. After the burglary, I was a little scared to be at home on my own. It’s quite dark here at night and I became a bit neurotic about locking doors behind me and making sure every door was locked in the house.

“It starts to make you worry about other things. You think, if you’re not going to get burgled what else could happen? We’ve ordered new gates to make sure it is not so open for people to see the children playing in the front garden because you start to worry about other things happening to you as well.”

But instead of dwelling on what she had lost, Natalie decided to set up a local Neighbourhood Watch group. The group has helped not only herself to recover, but has now been extended into neighbouring villages to help the wider community not to fall victim to the crime.

Becki Walker, a West Yorkshire Police Crime Prevention Officer, said: “Neighbourhood Watch is all about bringing the community together, helping to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and that’s exactly what Natalie has done.

“She has not only encouraged her own village to become part of Neighbourhood Watch, but surrounding villages are now following suit. It’s really, really nice to see the communities coming together and people genuinely looking out for each other.”

The force has put together some simple crime prevention advice to help homeowners protect their possessions.

The three messages are backed by a poster campaign and include –

  • Always remember to lock the door
  • Leave a light on upstairs
  • Set the alarm

For further crime prevention advice visit https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/burglary

Scroll down to view the series of videos, that were released daily.

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