How To Deal With Intruders

It's very rare for intruders to break-in homes knowing that the owner(s) is inside. 86 percent, according to a new data analysis by Churchill Home Insurance would leave without confronting whoever is inside their target home. More than 75 per cent abandon burglaries once they hear somebody inside. As for the rest, they are called 'creepers'. They specialize in night time burglaries and they often have a professional attitude when targeting easy and safe targets.

According to the new research, most people in the UK, are not aware of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to protecting themselves and their properties. about 50 percent don't understand what is the legal definition of reasonable force. In fact many believe there are no laws addressing their right to protect themseleves. Some even believe they are legally allowed to set a trap to snare potential intruders!

Burglars,too, are aware of the new laws which came into place in 2013, but more than two third of them think they had little effect on how they approach burglaries as they are always very careful not to get face-to-face with their victims in any case to avoid any confrontation.

According to to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) "Anyone can use reasonable to protect themselves or others, or to carry out an arrest or to prevent crime". However, the level of force must be reasonable. The householder should use reasonable force according to the circumstances of the burglary.

If you suspect there is an intruder in your home:

  1. Dial 999 from a safe place, such as your bedroom. When your ring the police, be specific:" Some one [ number ] has just broken into my house. I am or [+ other people] [ location ]. They are [ location]. My address [ address ]". Leave the call on till you the dispatcher confirms your call.
  2. Use common sense and judgment to what to do next. Whatever you decide to do you must keep calm and not take any unnecessary risks.
  3. Don't argue with your partner or anybody about what to do - this alerts them to where you are.
  4. A surprised intruder is likely to react violently, so don't confront them with a baseball bat or Samurai sword, especially if you are not the only one at home. Think of protecting yourself and your family first.
  5. If the intruder(s) confronts you, try to stay calm and tell them, in normal voice, you will cooperate. Lift your hands up ready for defence and also as a sign of compliance.
  6. As long as they are far from you or anybody with you, avoid direct eye contact. If they get near your personal space, hands up and be ready to defend yourself and anybody with you. The law does not require you to wait to be attacked before defending yourself in your own home. Never take aggressive action; unless you are sure you are in life-threatening situation. Escaping is most cases is the safest option. Half of home owners, in the UK, would confront burglars to protect their valuables.
  7. If you can hear the burglar(s) in a different room of the house, break the window of the room you are in or any other noisy object. The noise will terrify them as they know somebody spotted them.
  8. If you decide to chase burglars as they run off, you are no longer acting in self-defence, but you are allowed to use reasonable force to recover your stolen properties, such as rugby tackling them to the ground.
  9. It's generally safer not to challenge an intruder.
    • By laws, you are entitled to using reasonable force as self-defence to protect yourself, another person, or your properties. Very few householders have been prosecuted for using force against intruders.
    • The force your should use depends on the threat you are facing. If you are defending your life you can use more force than when you are defending your properties.
    • Sometimes, only the court can decide how reasonable the force should be, but it all depends on the circumstances of the case. The court may also make some allowance for "heat of the moment" reactions.
    • Always remember that the law doesn't allow you to retaliate.
    • Only the court can punish criminals, so try not to take the law into your hands.