Theft -11-15

What is the difference between theft and robbery?

Theft is when something is taken from you without your permission.

Robbery is when something is forcefully taken from you.

How should I feel after I’ve been robbed or had something stolen?

Theft and robbery affects people in many different ways and the way you feel may not be the same as anyone else.

If you’ve been robbed or had something stolen from you, you might:

  • be shocked or angry;
  • feel numb and unable to believe what has happened;
  • feel scared about returning to the place where it happened;
  • be unable to sleep;
  • suffer from headaches; and
  • find it hard to concentrate on schoolwork.

All of these feelings are normal. In most cases they will go away naturally over time and you will start to feel safe and confident again. Speaking to your family and friends about how you feel can help make this process quicker.

What if these feelings don’t go away?

This where Voice comes in – we’re here to help no matter what has happened to you. You can talk to us about anything, or come and join in with some of the things we organise for people your age. Find out how to speak with us here  – were here to help!

How can I report theft and robbery?

Whether it’s a coat, CD, trainers, a mobile phone or anything else, if an item that you own has been deliberately stolen from you, it is a criminal offence. This is serious, and you need to make sure you tell someone about it.

  • Tell an adult that you trust – if it has happened in school, report it to a teacher.
  • Report it to the police – if it happened outside of your school, tell an adult you trust and also report it to the police, who will try to recover your belongings.Your parents may have insured the item – which means they can receive money to replace what was stolen. To report a theft: Go to your nearest police station; or Call 101 – the police non-emergency phone-number.

Where can I go for help?

Voice is here to help you, no matter what has happened and no matter if you’ve spoken to the police of not. It is free to talk to us and we don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want us to. Talk to Voice.

If you don’t want to speak to us, speak to an adult you can trust – this could include a teacher, a family member, youth worker or support worker. Tell them what’s happened, and ask for their help and advice. Have you tried speaking to your friends? They will listen to you and can help you with lost o different things.

Tips for when you’ve had something stolen

Mobile phones

Call your phone network service provider and report the theft as soon as you can. The service provider can stop the phone working so no-one else will be able to use it.

Bank cards

Contact your bank straight away. You need to cancel any stolen bank cards as soon as you can so that they can’t be used by anyone else.


Money can be very difficult to replace because there’s often little way of proving it belonged to you or how much was stolen. You should definitely tell your teacher about it if it happened at school, or if it happened outside of school, tell an adult you trust. For larger amounts, tell the police.


If you’ve lost keys to your house, tell everyone you live with so the locks can be changed.

Tips for keeping your stuff safe

  • keep your belongings out of sight;
  • mark your belongings clearly; it makes them less of a target as they’ll be harder for thieves to sell or pass on;
  • be careful where you leave your things – jackets and bags left on the backs of chairs can make easy targets!
  • keep your phone gadgets with you in your pockets and separate from the rest of your things; and
  • keep a record of the model and serial numbers of your property – you can register these at Tips to keep mobile phones safe: Mobile phones are one of the most popular things to be stolen from people your age.

To stop this happening, always:

  • keep your phone out of sight when you’re not using it;
  • make sure your phone is in an inside pocket, so it can’t be taken;
  • avoid using your phone in busy places if you can, as thieves target crowded places; and
  • keep a record of your phone’s IMEI number, if it has one – just type *#06# into your phone and it will display a 15-digit number. You can use this number to register your phone free at

If you register your IMEI number, you stand a very good chance of getting your phone back if it’s stolen, especially if you report it to the police quickly.

Many of the latest mobile phones also have apps that can help you find your phone – make sure you’ve downloaded these and they’re switched on.

If your mobile phone is stolen you must get it blocked by calling your Network Service Provider. Ask your parent or carer for help to do this.

If your phone is stolen, call your phone network service provider and report the theft as soon as you can. The service provider can stop the phone working so no-one else can use it.

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