One in six people would physically attack an intruder in their home

New report shows overwhelming majority of Britons are prepared to use force on home intruders

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The Independent Online

More than 90 per cent of people consider it acceptable to use force on home burglars, according to a new report by insurers RIAS.

Its findings come during Neighbourhood & Home Watch Week and show 16 of people admit they would be prepared to attack an intruder rather than simply threatening them verbally. Only three per cent of those polled argued that using force against intruders is never acceptable.

The main reason to use force is to protect family members (71 per cent), while six out of ten feel using force would be acceptable if they felt threatened, and just over one third believe it’s fair to use force if an intruder had grabbed their belongings.

"One quarter of the nation has already been burgled at some point in their lives," said Peter Corfield, Managing Director at RIAS, "and it’s important to think about what you might do should an intruder enter your home. Consumers’ first thoughts are to protect family members and possessions, but it’s also vital to stay safe and stay in control."

Around 40 per cent of the 2,000 people polled said they would be happy to 'detain' an intruder until the police arrived, with just under a fifth happy to do so by pushing or holding them down (eight per cent would also be happy to punch or kick them to do so).

More than half said that their first action if they discovered an intruder would be to call the police - half would call the non-emergency police number, 101, to report the crime if they returned home to find they had been burgled.

The report also reveals that only one in five people  are members of an official Neighbourhood Watch Scheme but more than half would call the police if they saw someone acting suspiciously outside a neighbour’s house, and a further 11 per cent would take a photo for evidence. One in seven would call their neighbour directly to alert them.