Excessive Force?

  oresome 14:18 03 Sep 2012

Alan Duncan, a former Cabinet Minister, has said householders should not be prosecuted for defending their homes after a couple were arrested following the shooting of two suspected burglars.

Whilst I have some sympathy with the householders as it is claimed they had suffered several thefts, I cannot condone their action unless they were being physically threatened and felt their lives were in danger.

The only way to establish if the use of a gun was appropriate is in a court and politics should be left out of it.

  interzone55 14:27 03 Sep 2012

I think we need to hear more about this before we can make any judgements

  rdave13 14:59 03 Sep 2012

I agree with alan14's post, somewhat, but if someone deliberately attacks you or your property then they will be the aggressors and using criminal activities must face the consequences for their illegal acts. I wish we didn't make the victims of an attack guilty of defence.

  Kevscar1 15:12 03 Sep 2012

it depends, if the burglars were carrying any sort of weapon, if so then they deserve anything they get but until we know that it's impossible to say ifthe force was excessive or not.

  rdave13 15:23 03 Sep 2012

Kevscar1 It's about time that 'an Englishman's home is his castle' attitude should be brought back in my humble opinion. Fortunately I have never been burgled or caught anyone trying to break in. If it did occur then I would, no doubt, be shaking with anticipation, not thinking clearly, and be in the defensive mode, to defend all I have. Why should I be judged for that? I am being attacked and survival comes in to it and defend with whatever means comes to hand.

Wouldn't you?

  Bing.alau 15:33 03 Sep 2012

If this were to happen more often perhaps we get less burglaries.

Nothing is ever said about the trauma they cause other people. If the householder is hurt or injured in one of these burglaries then the offenders, if caught are given a slap on the wrist and carry on doing it.

I've got little sympathy with any of the burglars' relatives, because you can bet your bottom dollar that they approved of what was going on.

  interzone55 15:36 03 Sep 2012


We've had this discussion before - if the burglars posed a threat to the householder then yes, an proportionate defence should not lead to prosecution. But, and it's a big but, if the burglars were not armed then the householder has no requirement to take any action against the burglar, and so any attack should be punished.

As we don't know what happened in this case we cannot pass judgement on either party at the moment.

  Flak999 15:39 03 Sep 2012

The CPS have issued detailed guidance for use by prosecutors in cases such as these. It can be found here Self-Defence and the Prevention of Crime

  rdave13 15:53 03 Sep 2012

alan14 To quote you " if the burglars posed a threat to the householder ", I can't believe that statement. Burglars are a threat regardless surely? They don't give a toss if anyone is at home or not and are the attackers. No burglary, no defensive behaviour, surely? Or am I missing something here pertaining to common sense?

  lotvic 16:43 03 Sep 2012

alan14 Are householders supposed to question the burglars to assess what kind of threat they pose before deciding on a course of action?

I am left wondering what you would actually do if you had burglars in your home.

  namtas 16:43 03 Sep 2012


"if the burglars posed a threat to the householder"

I would like to ask Alan what he would do if he woke up in the middle of the night to a noise and switched the light on to find two hooded intruders in his hall.

Intruders who have entered your house have crossed the barrier and are to most people a potential threat.

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