Confronting burglars is a risky proposition, North Bay Police say
Police arrive after North Bay resident Louis Chatelaine caught a burglar in his backyard. John Schultz, community safety coordinator with police in North Bay, said protecting your home or property in these sorts of instances is a delicate balancing act. (Photo from video)
SUDBURY -- Video of a North Bay homeowner taking down a burglar in his backyard raises several issues, the North Bay Police service says.
John Schultz, community safety coordinator, said protecting your home or property in these sorts of instances is a delicate balancing act.
"Some people don’t think you can do anything while other people believe you can do anything you want on your property. The real answer is somewhere in the middle. You can protect yourself but if you use force, it has to be only as much force as is necessary," said Schultz.
He said a person that confronts another will have to explain their actions to police and may have to explain their actions to a court of law if excessive force is used.
"You and the people in your home should have this discussion. What would you do if someone broke into your home? How do you protect yourself or your children," said Schultz.
He said there is a risk when confronting someone during a burglary.
"If there is a property related break-in, the worst they can do is take some property, and is that worth getting hurt over? Property can be replaced," said Schultz. "Remember, you don’t know what the person's intentions are or if they have a weapon. Have they been drinking or under the influence of drugs? You know what your abilities are, but you don’t know what the abilities of the would-be thief are."
He said police have training and several options when it comes to using force, however, police are held accountable for their behaviour.
If you see something happening you are concerned about, North Bay Police recommend:
• Call 911
• First, provide your address and name, in case something interrupts the call
• Next, report that there is a crime in progress - Is someone in your house, trying to get in your house, in an outbuilding or are you seeing something occur in a neighbour’s home?
• The communications professional will ask you questions to relay to officers responding to the call. It is an emotional time, but you need to listen and answer as accurately as possible.
• Give as much detail as you can provide
Schultz recommends everyone have a crime prevention plan and that home security may make your home or property less of a target.
"Include discussions on alarms, cameras, and good locking devices, but everyone in the home should also know to call 911 and what they can expect from that point on," said Schultz.