Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Should burglars lose their rights when they enter your property? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    My personal belief is that if your house is being entered you should be able to use REASONABLE force. I argue this as you cannot necessarily understand a persons intentions if you spot them on your property unwelcomed - they may be lost or in trouble. By stripping these rights I feel people will be quick to assume people to be burglars which in cases may result in somewhat unprovoked violence. I do not agree however with the level of rights they currently have! There should be reform of some kind!

    What is your opinion?
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    yeah, guy entering my flat though the kitchen's window at 3 AM is definitely lost and seeking their own home.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I believe that all benefit of the doubt should be given to the property owner. I believe in the Castle Doctrine. Though it should be tempered by ideas of reasonable force, but if you kill an intruder by smacking them in the head with a club when they've broken into your house at 3AM then there should be no real pursuit of prosecution assuming it has been confirmed as an illegal entry with nefarious intent.

    I know the liberal argument goes that the person in your house may have no intent to hurt you, that's all well and good, but they also might. And as the victim and innocent, you should have the full force of the law behind you to do whatever you feel necessary to feel safe and protected from that intruder, if that means shooting them dead, then shoot them dead. I've no compassion for criminals that invade property with the intent to steal, harm or kill. If you want to be such scum then you take your life in your hands and will receive no sympathy from me.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    I think it has to be taken on a case by case basis (although I am aware this could lead to unfair discrepancies according to who the judge is).

    If someone tied up and hurt my (imaginary) nine year old child but then presented no threat to me I would feel entirely justified in near killing them, even though it wasn't necessary force, but if it was a naive teenage burglar who didn't actually hurt anyone, and you fully know that and have control of them, it's clearly wrong to beat them up badly.

    I appreciate that vigilante justice should never be acceptable, but people have to be able to defend the small patch of land on which they eat and sleep or else they have nothing. I think harsh punishments should be available to the court, to act as a deterrent to stop people going too far, or without thinking, but that the sympathy of the judge ought to usually lie with the homeowner.
    • Study Helper
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Study Helper
    Rights come with responsibilities. If you are trying to deprive someone of their rights then you do not deserve all of your own. I too support the use of reasonable force, which I would define as whatever they attempt or seem likely to attempt.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Defending the property/yourselves from an intruder is only fair enough as the main concern is protection...
    Beating the guy to a pulp after you've already subdued them though is a bit far though and shouldn't be allowed.
    Reasonable is the key word.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Steevee)
    I believe that all benefit of the doubt should be given to the property owner. I believe in the Castle Doctrine. Though it should be tempered by ideas of reasonable force, but if you kill an intruder by smacking them in the head with a club when they've broken into your house at 3AM then there should be no real pursuit of prosecution assuming it has been confirmed as an illegal entry with nefarious intent.

    I know the liberal argument goes that the person in your house may have no intent to hurt you, that's all well and good, but they also might. And as the victim and innocent, you should have the full force of the law behind you to do whatever you feel necessary to feel safe and protected from that intruder, if that means shooting them dead, then shoot them dead. I've no compassion for criminals that invade property with the intent to steal, harm or kill. If you want to be such scum then you take your life in your hands and will receive no sympathy from me.
    +1
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by G8D)
    I don't think they should lose all rights should be lost.

    Any reaction has to be proportionate to the perceived harm to the person/people living in the house.

    So basically don't kill the guy unless there's a real and genuine fear for your own physical safety but feel free to lamp him around the head and restrain him until the police arrive.
    What if a blow to the head kills them? You might not have intended to kill him but you've done so anyway, should you be prosecuted?

    In that situation I would say no, for obvious reasons. Breaking into someone's house is at your own risk, especially if you don't know who or what is lurking behind the door - could be an old granny or a deranged psychopath. You shouldn't expect sympathy if you get hurt in the process of making others feel intimidated.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    It's perfectly reasonable to hit a burglar on the head with a golf club to knock them out if they sneak in. It's not reasonable to hit them a dozen more times until their skull caves in.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by G8D)
    Possibly for manslaughter/culpable homicide. I'd expect the court to perhaps drop it or hand out a reduced/reducible sentence.

    Really the first thing to do is call the intruder out and if he presents with a knife or some other violent implement THEN you fight back. In this case it's unlikely you'd be held accountable due to self defence on reasonable fear of bodily harm. The UK doesn't allow 'self defence of property' like many places in the US do I don't think, for better or worse.
    Actually, you can use self-defence as a defence to reasonable attacks on yourself, others and the property of others. You also won't generally face prosecution should your attempt at self-defence turn out to be a mistake against the wrong person - see R v Williams (Gladstone) for example. But I agree with the general premise that owners of property should be able to act reasonably to threats of theft and physical harm. The case of Tony Martin a decade or so shows a good example: shooting a boy as he climbs out of your window to flee does not qualify as self-defence; it quickly sinks into a premeditated/revenge style killing.

    If there's one act I would remove off the statute books, it would be the Occupiers Liability Act 1984. This gives occupiers of property a minimum duty to ensure that their property is safe to an extent that trespassers i.e. burglars will not be seriously injured should they decide to cross/enter the owners property. I find it absurd that the law even caters for such people, even if the underlying argument is that the 1984 Act protects straying children who would qualify as trespassers. I would rather those scenarios be grouped in with other types of 'visitor' in the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. Bottom line, I don't believe a burglar should be able to sue.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    no..

    personally, not all their rights,

    Though as a criminal, they will loose some.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Think of it this way, what if you don't hit them hard enough in the dark and they knife you because you weren't relentless in bashing their skull in with whatever you're holding. That said, I've never been in the position of intruders in my house and I doubt many people will dive into action mode when it could easily be another person living in the house moving around at night.

    Depends what rights you're on about. As far as I'm aware we don't have rights which protect us from harm regardless of any wrong doing. I've not heard of many human rights cases in this country which involve non-criminals, so it sounds like human rights only serve criminals who don't respect normal peoples' human rights.

    But yeah, they aren't going to be tortured and whipped for breaking in, but I don't see why any home-owner needs to be responsible for the safety of people breaking in. The main issue is that the home-owners know nothing about what a burglar is capable of, which is why going to town with a metal bar is the safest thing for a home-owner to do on an intruder. Why should a home-owner put their human rights at risk by trying to protect the intruders'?
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    What if the breaker-in isn't a burglar but a drunk man who got the wrong house and lost his keys? What if he's a desperate person hiding from people trying to kill him? There's other reasons why someone might be breaking in to a house, and shooting first and asking questions later will simply invite more needless death and no improvement in the safety of the person whose house it is.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    English law permits one person to kill another in self-defence only if the person defending him or herself uses no more than "reasonable force"; it is the responsibility of the jury to determine whether or not an unreasonable amount of force was used.

    There, that's my stance.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Right what you wanna do is get a can of deodorant..... BAMMM RIGHT IN THE EYES!!!!!! If he is blind when he comes out of jail he wont be able to get revenge because he cant see
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I don't understand what the fuss is about. No home owner has gotten into trouble for injuring or killing a burglar in reasonable self defence as far as I'm aware. People just seem to get confused because naturally, where a death or injury occurs an investigation needs to take place (it's not just "they broke in" "OK no questions asked!!", and also because some home owners have got into trouble for chasing down and trying to kill (or succeeding in killing) persons who are fleeing their home/property with excessive deliberate force when clearly no threat to person (and in the cases I've read, not even any threat to property) is posed. And/or beating intruders to death after they've been subdued.

    You can bash invaders in your home with a frying pan. You can stab em. You can even shoot them if you legally possess a gun. Maybe they will die as an unfortunate consequence. But if you do this without the reasonable intent to protect yourself, you will get into trouble. Quite rightly, it isn't tasteful or right to want to end another human being's life as vengeance for them breaking into your home. Burglary is not punishable by death.

    (Original post by Jacob :))
    It's perfectly reasonable to hit a burglar on the head with a golf club to knock them out if they sneak in. It's not reasonable to hit them a dozen more times until their skull caves in.
    This.


    EDIT: The law is fine as it is. If you want to give the home owner excessive protection to carry out completely disproportionate violent attacks on anyone they suspect of being a burglar, then be prepared for people to use this as a cover for domestic murder.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    The only right they should have is the one to leave.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by meenu89)
    The only right they should have is the one to leave.
    They can't leave if you kill them!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jacob :))
    They can't leave if you kill them!
    No, but they have the option to leave before you do.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    They should lose their rights.

    And their life.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What's your favourite Christmas sweets?
    Useful resources

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.