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Brit Police-Don't Tackle Burglars

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Brat7748, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Brat7748

    Brat7748 Well-Known Member

    Police chiefs have urged householders not to confront intruders, but to call 999 and lock themselves in safely until help arrives.

    Their advice was issued last night after a judge defended the actions of a retired man who shot an intruder who had returned for the third time to break into his isolated country home.

    The judge's comments were hailed by victims' groups as the first sign of "common sense" on the rights of householders to defend their property.

    However, the police counselled caution - while admitting that the public had little faith in their ability to turn up in time.

    The debate surrounding the definition of what constitutes the use of "reasonable force" against intruders was revived by Judge Andrew Hamilton's comments on Monday during the trial of John Rae, a burglar.

    Rae, 22, who was jailed for seven years for a string of burglaries and other crimes, was shot in the leg by Kenneth Faulkner, 73, at his home in Ockbrook, Derbyshire.

    Mr Faulkner was only told shortly before the trial that he would not be prosecuted over the shooting.

    The judge said that he had "sensibly" armed himself with a shotgun and no one could criticise him for what he did. "It is only a pity that charges were considered against him," he added.

    Norman Brennan, the director of the Victims of Crime Trust, said the judge had made clear that the law should be on the side of the property-owner not the criminal.

    "If the householder needs to protect their home and the burglar sustains injuries, then those injuries are the burglar's fault," he said. "Householders should only be put before the criminal courts in exceptional circumstances."

    David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, said he was "open to suggestions" about any changes in the law. However, he did not consider that recent incidents - which include the alleged murder in London of a 45-year-old teacher by a burglar - justified any.

    The police said that while householders could use "reasonable force" when confronted by a burglar, their advice was not to intervene.

    The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said in a statement: "You can use force, but it has to be reasonable. Police are restrained by that as well.

    "Whether the line is crossed is a decision for the courts to make. We don't believe in vigilantism or excess violence."

    Chief Supt Ian Johnston, vice-president of the Superintendents Association of England and Wales, said: "The advice should be, first of all, take commonsense crime prevention steps around your property.

    "But if you are broken into - and I know most people will look at this and say 'It's very good for him to say that in the cold light of day' - really and truly, you should ring the police. You should not approach the intruder."

    He added: "If the intruder steals some of your property, that's far better than someone getting killed. Ring police and secure yourself and your family, but stress that there is a person on the premises. That really is the only advice we would give."

    The advice comes at a time when public confidence in the police has been severely shaken by recent incidents in which officers failed to take immediate action when called out to deal with gunmen.

    Senior officers readily concede that the public is sceptical about the speed of police responses and accept that their advice is of little comfort to residents - especially those in the countryside - who hear disturbing noises in their homes during the night.

    However, police maintain that if householders make clear that an intruder is on the premises they will respond quickly.

    Mr Johnston said: "People will also say - and I have some sympathy for their thoughts - 'What would he do at 2am or 3am when he hears noises downstairs?' I understand that, but we must give that very firm advice - do not approach the intruder."

    He added that police were "definitely not" advising people to have weapons in their homes. "We would not tell the public to arm themselves with any weapon, legal or illegal. Burglars could be on drink or drugs and that's why we give the advice we do."

    Mr Johnston said the legal situation in Britain was different from that in America. "If someone dared to enter someone's property in the States they would be within their constitutional rights to protect their property. And I dare say people in this country would say, 'What happened to an Englishman's castle?'

    "The police are reflecting the law, but within that we can understand when people decide to have a go and protect their property and families. But our advice to them is please don't."

    Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright

    From a post at the FreeRepiblic

  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    British police chiefs advise the serfs to behave like serfs. This is news? It's despicable, but it it news?
  3. Given the British peoples' widespread lack of faith in thier police, and problem of the explosion of violent crime in the UK, you really have to wonder about the competence of the police forces there.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member

    I don't think it is a question of competence, rather it is a question of relevancy

  5. Incompetence at the management level resulting in irrelevency at the street level perhaps.

    NYC was in a similar bind until they went to zero-tolerance policing under new management.

    You have to wonder if that isn't what's needed in the UK when you read reports of them adopting a policy of not prosecuting first time offenders for burglary, etc.
  6. Andrew Skaggs

    Andrew Skaggs New Member

    I think it's interesting that there are such profoundly different attitudes between our countries, right down to how we use the language differently. The article uses householder where in America we would use the term homeowner.

    Holding something implies much less permanence than owning it. If you are just holding your house temporarily at the leisure of the nobles, why bother defending it? On the other hand, many Americans strive their whole lives to own houses rather than just "hold" them. With our ideal of ownership it seems clear that Americans would be much more upset at intrusions into our homes.
  7. Chipperman

    Chipperman Well-Known Member

    "The judge said that he had "sensibly" armed himself with a shotgun and no one could criticise him for what he did. "It is only a pity that charges were considered against him," he added. "

    Well, at least someone over there appears to have come to his senses.
  8. carpettbaggerr

    carpettbaggerr Well-Known Member

    Well, isn't that what everyone says here too? Isn't that the whole concept of the 'safe room'?

    If you think you own your house, try not paying your property taxes. We're just renting from our lords.
  9. Zedicus

    Zedicus Well-Known Member

    Simply put, there is an old law in the UK that States that everthing in the UK Belongs to the Crown.

    You can work youself into the grave to buy something, but that ancent law gives the Gov't/Royal Famly the Right to take (Steal) it any time they want to.
    In the UK, You dont actualy ever "own" Anything.:barf:
  10. wasrjoe

    wasrjoe Well-Known Member

    I agreed with everything until this:

    If a burglar is in my house, I don't want to go anywhere near him. I'm going to lock myself in my room. But telling citizens that they shouldn't have an easy to use, efficient means of defense on hand (and in fact, they didn't even just say firearms - they said weapons) is beyond absurd in my book.

    I'll dial 911 (or 999 in the case of our friends across the pond), but I'd like to have 357 until backup arrives.
  11. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Well-Known Member

    Yeah. After the "householder" is dead.

    Why not? Some highly publicized "excess violence" might be a great deterrent.
  12. SMLE

    SMLE Well-Known Member


    Self defence is NOT "vigilantism! Ohhhhh. I just can't say in decent language how much I HATE it when the anti-rights blissninny idiots use the word "vigilantism" to describe self defence.

    :cuss: :banghead: :fire: :barf:
  13. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    Indeed they could. And this says what, that being drunk or on a high somehow makes it okay for them to break into someone's home and help themselves to what (or who) ever they find inside?

  14. det.pat

    det.pat Well-Known Member


    what makes anyone think that GB is a free country, when the government uses tank and automatic weapons against unarmed strikers, songs and books can be banned, elderly men can be jailed for life for shooting burglars [after repeated break ins] and those pesky irish can be jailed for years with no charges or trial, these people are subjects not citizens, and they are acustumed to being told what to do and being billed for the advice.
  15. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Well-Known Member

    Within constitutional rights, yes. But don't try it here in Ohio.
  16. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

    My house IS my safe room.
    Ohio law does not preclude the use of deadly force in one's home when faced with the threat of violence ....which from what I've gathered, is judged very loosely.
  17. artherd

    artherd member

    *** Mates?

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