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A break-in is the unauthorised entry into a demarcated area such as a house or an apartment by breaking down an obstacle (e.g. a door or a window). Break-ins usually occur with the aim of taking possession of items and/or information, that is, to commit burglary.

Break-ins do not typically take place at night but during the day when offenders can spy on residents to see when they have left their homes. This might be when residents are at work or shopping, at weekends or when they have gone on holiday.

For most victims, a break-in constitutes a violation of the security that was meant to be offered by their own four walls and is as such a life-changing experience. Quite apart from the financial damage that can arise as a result of a break-in, the victim’s sense of personal security is often damaged permanently.


Victims can suffer from the events for a long time after the crime took place. You can find out about what you can do as a victim of a break-in, which rights and entitlements you have and where you can get help and support on the following websites of the NRW Police: