Callum’s story

The impact of housebreaking and vandalism

Police Scotland referred Callum* to Victim Support Scotland (VSS) after the temporary accommodation that he shared part-time with his 8-year-old daughter was broken into by local drug-users. The perpetrators broke his locks, stole any usable belongings, including his daughter’s clothes and toys.

They vandalised everything else in the flat, and even emptied his fridge and freezer. He was left with one odd shoe, a onesie belonging to his daughter and a couple of old items of clothing.

Callum could not live in the accommodation in the state it was in and could not move into new accommodation due to Covid-19 restrictions. He had nothing left and was so overwhelmed at the situation, he couldn’t figure out the next steps.

Callum moved in with his disabled mother, who he cared for on a regular basis, but he couldn’t provide a place for his daughter. He felt lost, violated and that his independence had been stripped away. He also felt unsafe and anxious returning to the temporary accommodation, as well as when thinking about his future. He wasn’t aware of any support services and didn’t know where to turn.

Thanks to a referral from Police Scotland, VSS contacted him to provide practical and emotional support. His VSS support worker provided a listening ear to help him work through his feelings. She gave him practical support to take the next steps to get his life back on track when he felt overwhelmed, including helping him to complete paperwork and find all the details he needed, such as his crime reference number.

The VSS support worker arranged a delivery of groceries and toiletry items through the Trussell Trust, so that he would not have to rely on his mother and her benefits to feed himself, something that was causing him guilt and worry. The VSS support worker made an application to VSS’ Victims’ Fund for £250 to replace clothes and bedding for him and his daughter. VSS also made arrangements with a local community organisation to provide replacement furniture and household items when he moves into his new accommodation.

With VSS’ support he has started to feel more in control of his life and empowered to find his own way forward. He has recently said he feels much safer, has a more positive outlook and is delighted that his daughter can visit him again. He is very grateful for the support that VSS gave him when he was at rock bottom as well as to the police for putting him in touch with VSS at a point when he most needed help.

*Name changed to preserve anonymity. Pictures are for illustrative purposes only.

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