It's 3am and you're abruptly awoken from your sleep by the sound of rustling, banging and footsteps downstairs. It's not a dream - there's an intruder in your house.
Your other half is still asleep next to you and your children are sleeping soundly in their bedrooms across the landing.
You hear footsteps coming up the stairs. What's your next move?
What if the burglar is armed with a weapon? What if he's violent?
Knowing what to do during a break in could potentially save your life. Most burglars will escape as quickly as possible if they believe they have woken you but others prefer a challenge.
If you decide to actively defend your home and family from the burglar, read the following information carefully. Going a step too far could land you in a court room...
You may have read online that you have the right to "act with reasonable force" towards an intruder... but what does that actually mean?
You have the right to tackle the intruder to the ground and perform a citizen's arrest.
This means you can use a reasonable amount of force to keep them on the ground until the Police arrive. You are not permitted to assault the intruder as this would be seen as "grossly disproportionate force" in the eyes of the law.
2. Protecting yourself in the heat of the moment
The Crown Prosecution Service state that:
"the law does not require you to wait to be attacked before using defensive force yourself."
This means that if you believe you and your family are in danger, you can initiate your defence towards the intruder.
Crossing the line can lead to prosecution
As mentioned briefly before, using "grossly disproportionate force" on a burglar can land you in trouble. You are not permitted to:
Knowing the theory of what to do during a break in is all very well. However, in an ideal situation, your family would never have to suffer this trauma in the first place.
It's critical that your home is properly safeguarded so that it doesn't end up on an intruder's hit list.
Closing curtains and locking doors isn't enough anymore. A professionally fitted home alarm system will be a far greater deterrent to burglars targeting your home.
Better yet, an alarm system that is monitored by an ARC (alarm receiving centre) who can contact the Police on your behalf during an emergency. Even if your property is empty, you're protected.
But that's only one piece of your home security puzzle.
You may think your home is safe but your family could be sitting ducks. Read the home security checklist and start protecting them today.
Click the button below and get our expert advice on how to properly safeguard your home - so you never have to confront burglars.