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How to Deal with an Intruder

Aug 17, 2007
Burglaries on properties when the occupiers are in are very rare, however they do happen from time to time, usually at night when the household is expected to be asleep. Despite this being a very rare occurance, you should think about what you would do to protect yourself and your family should you ever find yourself in this situation.

Think ahead - Although it's extremely rare to happen, think about what you would do if you thought you had an intruder in the house. If you think now and come up with some sort of a plan it could save you time later should you find yourself in the situation when you are more likely to panic. When thinking about what you would do, consider all possibilities, especially if you live alone.

If you suspect that there is someone in your house or on your property, you could make a noise in the hope that it will startle any intruder and scare them off. If you don't want to do this then you may want to keep quiet and hope that they don't realise you are there or enter your room. Keep a phone in your bedroom so that you can call for help. If there is someone in your house then dial 999 immediately.

Should you come home and find signs of a break-in you should consider whether or not you think it is safe to enter the premises or not - the intruder could still be inside. If you suspect that someone is in the house then you should call the police on 999 from a safe place. You could also ring the doorbell or knock at the door as this should scare off any intruder. If you are sure that there is no-one in the house then enter carefully but try not to touch anything. As there is no crime taking place you should call the police on their non-emergency number. Try not to touch anything until the police have visited as anything and everything could hold clues as to who committed the crime.

In the unlikely event that you do come across an intruder on your property then as a general rule you should not confront them, despite how angry or upset you are - there could be more than one intruder and they may be carrying a weapon.

Under the law you are entitled to use reasonable force to protect yourself, another person or your property. Reasonable force is determined by the force you use for protection purposes only in comparison to the threat that you are facing. What exactly reasonable force is depends on the situation itself but generally it is understood as the amount of force required that stops yourself, someone else or your property from being attacked. Once an attacker is floored or incapicitated then do not stop to continue attacking them. Stopping to continue an attack could put you in more danger and force beyond reasonable force could lead to you facing an assault, or even worse, charge.

Generally the law will be on your side when it comes to protecting yourself, others and your property. There have been cases where people have faced charges when acting in "self-defence" but this is because they have gone too far in protecting themselves and either left traps or used excessive force, including the use of weapons.

However the law does not allow you to retaliate or punish a suspected criminal, this is what the courts are for. You must never take the law into your own hands for anything that anyone has done to yourself, your family or your home. Give any information you have to the police and allow the legal system to deal with the case.
About the Author
Home Secured discusses home security options for all households regardless of what type of property you live in. Find out more about securing your home to keep you, your family and your possessions safe at http://www.home-secured.com .
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