Burglars in Spain

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Home robberies are on the increase and what’s disconcerting is anybody doing anything about it or have we got to take our safety into our own hands? I don’t mean vigilante groups or individuals, but tightening up on home security. Most of us already have roller-shutters and grills, yob stopper style doors, alarms and dogs, but are they enough?
A couple of years back In the UK David Cameron’s rhetoric against burglars: “The moment a burglar steps over your threshold, and invades your property – they leave their human rights outside.” His comments were swiftly criticised by Lord Mandelson, who accused the Tory leader of resorting to soundbites. “You know it’s not a practical policy,” he said. “What sort of country is he trying to create?”
Do you think people should have the power to use violence against a burglar, or even kill one, in self-defence? Furthermore, what constitutes as self-defence?
In recent times the advent of the more ruthless creeper burglar has increased due to technological advances in vehicle designs. The sophistication of car security is causing thieves to seek out the owners unlocking device, which is on the side next to the imported bread and teabags so breaking in the home is becoming a necessity turning car thieves into creeper burglars.
Often, in the newspapers, you will read about a robbery and increasingly: ‘Homeowner attacks burglar’, one such case leads to the burglar being disabled by a gunshot. The homeowner justified his action by saying he purposely aimed at his legs – the courts disagreed.
The maxim that ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’ part of that phrase meaning: no one may enter without invitation. A law established by the lawyer and politician Sir Edward Coke in 1628: “For a man’s house is his castle et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium – and each man’s home is his safest refuge”. This common law didn’t give a man the right to take actions inside the home that would be illegal outside it. Including beating the wife and children – here in Spain the sentiment is the same.
Most people think of a violent response at the thought of being confronted with a burglar in their home, not as an affront to their egos, but paternal/maternal instinct kicking in, albeit the majority males. The reason being, when that part of the brain called the amygdala fires a fear signal, a fight or flight response is exercised, whereas the female response can be – tend and befriend. Women can reduce stress and promote a feeling of safety by connecting.
Spain views attacking a burglar the same as in the UK. You can’t simply whip out a shotgun and blast away. Equally, if you snatch up a Louisville Slugger (baseball bat) seriously injuring the thief, you will still receive 6 and 12 years in prison, and you can be forced to pay compensation if the robber is unable to return to work – robbing – to support his family due to his injuries. If you give the Ladron a kicking you could be facing a 2 to 5-year stretch.
Your level of response must match that of the attacker’s in order for you to justify reasonable protective measures or deterrent. Yet a protester using colourful language, an aggressive, yet restrain posture, can be tasered, peppered sprayed, and we’ve all seen it in the media, suffer a beating from a batten even when they are on the floor curled up in a hedgehog.
The question should you be prosecuted for defending yourself if woken by a burglar that subsequently result in you instinctively snatching up a weapon: golf club, kitchen knife, frying pan anything that is available – the mother-in-laws Christmas present, a plastic pineapple ice bucket.
The answer should be no. Once the intruder has stepped over the threshold he leaves his rights outside and should expect to be met with extreme prejudice. The average householder has little to no experience at what level of violence it would take to restrain the intruder. The level of resistance would be turned up to the max with one thought, protect the family or themselves, which could be fatal for the burglar.
Americans change it by viewing the person, not as a likely-lad chancing his luck, there only to rob the TV so he can fuel his drug habit, but a full-on home invasion. There as a domestic terrorist of which negotiation is off the table. Out comes the Smith and Western or Glock seventeen and they empty the clip, which they have a right to as long as it is indoors and the perpetrator hasn’t got his back to them.
No one should have an unrestricted license to kill, but we should have the right to defend ourselves, family, and property without being obliged to put oneself at unnecessary risk. Being armed in the home would cut down the anxiety level and risk, but eventually, open us up to other dangers associated with owning a gun.
Unfortunately, the best way to protect your home from being targeted by burglars comes from old wisdom: if two of you are running from a bear you only have to outrun the other person. This is how you look at your security system as burglars will choose the less protected house.
A single element should not be relied upon. The answer is to upgrade our security systems and be vigilant – watch the neighbourhood. The systems in place should be like an onion taking the burglars effete to peel back each security layer. Starting with the approach to a property with sensor lights. Protecting the outside of the property with grills and persianas. Window and door sensors connected to an alarm….
There are other things to be aware of….
Not all homes have communal bins so stacking up empty boxes with pictures of the latest in home entertainment system plastered on the side is probably not a good idea. They are watching and now they know that there is something worth nicking.
Look out for tags they come in the form of signs chalked on a wall or next to the letterbox. Stickers advertising 24-hour locksmiths and other services. They garner this information by cold calling – pretending to offer a service, there scoping the property.
One burglar was upstairs appraising a piece of jewellery when the homeowners came back. They sat drinking tea and chatting when the male told a joke they heard a belly laugh from upstairs from the burglar who couldn’t help but listen.
Dog owners are not necessarily excluded from a robbers to-do-list but are among the least likely to suffer a break-in, especially those who own the long-nosed, short-legged, long-tailed varieties, called in Spanish – Crocadillos

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