What Crime Really Costs You

One day sitting at your desk, your are interrupted by your singing cellphone. Seeing the caller ID is that of your nanny, your thoughts immediately go to your two year-old who you left under her care. And your adrenalin immediately begins pumping as a scream rings out in the background, accompanied by your house alarm. You get off the phone in full panic mode, frantically looking up your security company’s number as you grab your bag and head for the door.

You get home to the sight of your home crisscrossed by security tape, barely visible behind a wall of curious onlookers and concerned neighbours. As the boys in blue go about collecting evidence, personnel from your security firm brief you on what transpired while you were away. But you’re not listening, all you want to know are the whereabouts of your child. Relief washes over you as you see her clutching at the nanny’s thigh, cheeks stained with drying tears. The security team confirm what you’ve already surmised from the shattered door and your daughter, now firmly nestled in your arms; there was a break-in, but nobody was harmed. They probably weren’t armed, at least not with anything more than break-in tools. This is the conclusion the security guys furnish you with.

Crime Scene TapesThe cops, meanwhile, have got their investigations underway surprisingly fast. Before the end of the day they have dusted the place for prints and come to the conclusion that all you have lost is a stereo system and an old cellphone you had decommissioned years ago. It could have been worse, you think, breathing a deep sigh of relief. But it doesn’t take long for the full cost of damage from the burglary to hit you. The busted door will be catered for by the building insurance, but the assessor from the insurer won’t be coming in a day, or two. You therefore dig into your pocket to buy a new set of locks, and are surprised at just how much they cost these days.

To try and buy a measure of peace of mind you get an armed guard to patrol your yard. Meanwhile you begin pursuing the claims paperwork for the damage to your house. You also lodge a claim for the contents of your house under household insurance. To your dismay you find that the cellphone and a few items destroyed by the goons are not covered. While the burglary induced a degree of paranoia in you, your kids, who have never lived such an experience are traumatised and in need of professional help. Only when you start making inquiries do you discover just how pricey those counseling sessions are. Besides paying for sessions you are considering investing in another bed. Your poor tots have been suffering from nightmares ever since and can’t sleep alone.

That is not all; you now feel a need to improve on your security. None of the options are cheap- everything from a dog to a CCTV system costs, and costs big. What to do?