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"I was only eleven when I came home from school to find we’d been burgled again. They had broken the glass in the back door window and used the handle. Strange footprints were in our house that I didn’t recognise, and everything was in the wrong place. It didn’t feel like my house any more. I knew something was wrong but there was no one around to ask and I had to wait for my parents to come home from work.

"Mum said all of granny’s jewellery had been taken, and she could never get it back because granny wasn’t with us any more. She cried a lot, and so did I. I don’t know why people think they can take things that don’t belong to them: I would never do that to you."

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"Just the other week, we had plant pots stolen from right outside our home. It’s made me feel so insecure, despite having good security on our house. How can I stop it from happening again when I never thought someone would be that selfish in the first place? I live in a nice town with what I thought were nice neighbours, but it’s hard to trust your community again when something like this lets you down.

"The items taken may not be worth much to someone else, but we work hard – really hard – for what we have. The pots were put outside so people could be cheered by the flowers, but I find it hard to be motivated to do this again if someone thinks it’s okay just to take them."

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"Our van was broken into while it was outside our house. They took all my husband’s tools for his job, which meant he couldn’t work until he’d bought everything he needed again. It makes me so angry when people don’t think about the consequences of their actions: did the thieves ever stop to think of us losing livelihood? Our financial losses were far greater than the monetary gain they would have received.

"It made me want to move house and it’s made me look at our home security, as they may target our house now if they know they can get in the van. We have young children too, which are the most important thing in the world to keep safe."

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"I’ve just had a really expensive vinyl player stolen, which my parents gave me for my 21st. I couldn’t believe it when the police said it was probably an inside job: I’m a student and live with others, but I thought I could trust them.

"Our flat is high up and out of the way. It has the building door, our flat door and my bedroom door for security, as well as CCTV on the building entrance. But I didn’t think I had to protect my personal possessions from people I live with. How am I supposed to do that?"

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"Last Saturday afternoon, I was sat in the garden with my husband Ray. We were having tea and the sun was shining – just a beautiful day. I asked Ray to get my handbag from inside the house, but he came back saying he couldn’t find it, and was I sure it was inside? I’d left it where I always did, but we couldn’t find it anywhere. Then we found the front door had been forced, and they’d pinched my handbag, our antique clock, and – inexplicably – a photo album of irreplaceable family prints. I guess they just took whatever they could get their hands on before being spooked. How mean and thoughtless.

"Being pensioners, we would be defenceless if they came back. Ray’s going to get a security man round to help, but you can’t get back the feeling of safety once you’ve been burgled, can you?"