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Break and Enter

Break and Enter is a criminal offence in which someone enters a residence, business or other property without permission, and commits or intends to commit a crime, typically theft. Break and enter is one of the most common property offences in Canada.

Break and enter can have many negative consequences for victims, both financially and psychologically. Victims of break and enter can be left with not only the loss of valuable possessions but also the loss of a sense of safety and security. If you or someone you know is a victim of break and enter, help is available through victim services and other resources.

To learn more about Break and Enter, see the Help Starts Here infosheet

What to do next?

  • If your home has just been broken into and the perpetrator is still there or nearby, call 911 from a safe place.
  • If you want to report the B&E to the police and the situation is not urgent (e.g., the perpetrator is not around, you are not in danger), call the non-emergency number for police in your community.
  • Tell someone you trust what happened. Let your neighbours know what happened. If a neighbour, friend, or family member can provide emotional support or help you in practical ways, ask for help.
  • If you wish to contact victim services, call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808. Victim services can help you directly and can also refer you to other community agencies.
  • If you have insurance that may cover stolen or damaged items, contact your insurance company immediately.
  • Make a list of what was stolen or damaged, including any identification numbers or photos if you have them.
  • When police will be attending, try not to touch or disturb anything in your home, and do not discard anything. Ask for the police file number so you can provide this to your insurance company.
  • If you have questions about a break and enter, don’t hesitate to ask a victim service worker.


"What resources are available?"

VictimLink BC

VictimLink BC is a toll-free 24/7 information and support line that provides information and referrals to all victims of crime, and crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including sexual assault, violence in relationships, elder abuse, and adult survivors of physical or sexual abuse. VictimLink BC provides service in 110 languages, including 17 North American Aboriginal languages.

  • Phone: toll free 1-800-563-0808. 24 hours every day
  • TTY (Teletypewriter): through Information Services Vancouver TTY service at (604) 875-0885 (collect calls accepted)
  • Multilingual

Block Watch Society of British Columbia

The Block Watch Society of BC provides information on setting up and maintaining community “block watch” programs for preventing crime and increasing safety in neighbourhoods.

British ColumbiaCrime Prevention Association

The BC Crime Prevention Association is an integrated team of citizens and police that provide education and awareness about crime prevention.

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