Gloucester burglary victim speaks of violation after her home was broken into in the summer
1:00pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
A WOMAN from Gloucester has spoken about the terrifying experience of discovering a burglar in her home.
Anna Buckland was walking into her house from her back garden in Reservoir Road one lunch time this August when she heard glass smash.
She soon realised a burglar was in the property and ran to the kitchen to call police, where she stayed for ten minutes until officers had arrested the offender.
He was subsequently jailed for three years for the offence.
Anna said: "It's an invasion of your personal space. You feel violated. It's the loss of control. You often have people in your house but they don't rifle through your personal things.
"My husband was away. I knew the last thing to do was panic. I had lots of experiences dealing with difficult situations when I was a teacher. I ran to the kitchen, grabbed the phone and got hold of the door handle. I couldn't have got out without him seeing me.
"I was having to confront the fact he could come through the door. I had to face it that I may have to hurt somebody," she said.
Anna kept up a running commentary of events while on the phone to police call operator Maureen Heard.
"I want to say thanks to Maureen for being there for me. It's a really hard job. I couldn't do it. You have to have empathy, be detached and have a cool head. She repeated things to me and helped bring my breathing down."
Fortunately a dog handler arrived to arrest the intruder before any confrontation was necessary.
Anna suffered health problems prompted by the incident but is recovering well and was straight back to helping vulnerable children as part of her work for Global Arts in Education.
Chief Inspector Richard Burge said: "While it is very unusual for a burglar to break into a house while the owner is present, as soon as someone chooses to cross that line the impact can be massive.
"Offenders often think burglary is victimless but we know how personal it can be, and in the worst cases, like this, how it can put ordinary people in horrendous situations.
"I want to pay tribute to Anna's bravery for coming forward. The remarkable thing about her phone call is that while she was clearly distressed she still managed to give us clear, succinct information that helped us catch the man responsible.
"I hope people reading this just stop to think about the issue for a few moments.
"Operation Switch is our autumn campaign to boost awareness of burglary and get people to think about how they can make their homes as safe as possible. Advice on security can be found at www.gloucestershire.police.uk.
"With just three days until the clocks go back and the nights get darker, this is a good time to think about home security.
"I would also encourage people to call us straight away if they see any suspicious activity in their area."