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The following is a page from the Crown Presecution Website :

Joint Public Statement from the Crown Prosecution Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers

What is the purpose of this statement?

It is a rare and frightening prospect to be confronted by an intruder in your own home. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Chief Constables are responding to public concern over the support offered by the law and confusion about householders defending themselves. We want a criminal justice system that reaches fair decisions, has the confidence of law-abiding citizens and encourages them actively to support the police and prosecutors in the fight against crime. Wherever possible you should call the police. The following summarises the position when you are faced with an intruder in your home, and provides a brief overview of how the police and CPS will deal with any such events.

Does the law protect me? What is 'reasonable force'?

Anyone can use reasonable force to protect themselves or others, or to carry out an arrest or to prevent crime. You are not expected to make fine judgements over the level of force you use in the heat of the moment. So long as you only do what you honestly and instinctively believe is necessary in the heat of the moment, that would be the strongest evidence of you acting lawfully and in self defence. This is still the case if you use something to hand as a weapon. As a general rule, the more extreme the circumstances and the fear felt, the more force you can lawfully use in self-defence.

Do I have to wait to be attacked?

No, not if you are in your own home and in fear for yourself or others. In those circumstances the law does not require you to wait to be attacked before using defensive force yourself.

What if the intruder dies?

If you have acted in reasonable self-defence, as described above, and the intruder dies you will still have acted lawfully. Indeed, there are several such cases where the householder has not been prosecuted. However, if, for example: having knocked someone unconscious, you then decided to further hurt or kill them to punish them; or you knew of an intended intruder and set a trap to hurt or to kill them rather than involve the police, you would be acting with very excessive and gratuitous force and could be prosecuted.

What if I chase them as they run off?

This situation is different as you are no longer acting in self-defence and so the same degree of force may not be reasonable. However, you are still allowed to use reasonable force to recover your property and make a citizen's arrest. You should consider your own safety and, for example, whether the police have been called. A rugby tackle or a single blow would probably be reasonable. Acting out of malice and revenge with the intent of inflicting punishment through injury or death would not.

Will you believe the intruder rather than me?

The police weigh all the facts when investigating an incident. This includes the fact that the intruder caused the situation to arise in the first place. We hope that everyone understands that the police have a duty to investigate incidents involving a death or injury. Things are not always as they seem. On occasions people pretend a burglary has taken place to cover up other crimes such as a fight between drug dealers.

How would the police and CPS handle the investigation and treat me?

In considering these cases Chief Constables and the Director of Public Prosecutions (Head of the CPS) are determined that they must be investigated and reviewed as swiftly and as sympathetically as possible. In some cases, for instance where the facts are very clear, or where less serious injuries are involved, the investigation will be concluded very quickly, without any need for arrest. In more complicated cases, such as where a death or serious injury occurs, more detailed enquiries will be necessary. The police may need to conduct a forensic examination and/or obtain your account of events.

To ensure such cases are dealt with as swiftly and sympathetically as possible, the police and CPS will take special measures namely:

An experienced investigator will oversee the case; and
If it goes as far as CPS considering the evidence, the case will be prioritised to ensure a senior lawyer makes a quick decision.

It is a fact that very few householders have ever been prosecuted for actions resulting from the use of force against intruders.



The Prime Minister has commissioned a review into how communities are engaged in fighting crime. The aim is to understand how local communities, the police, local authorities and local criminal justice agencies can best work together to reduce crime, raise community confidence in local agencies and lower the fear of crime. The review also wants to examine what makes people get involved in helping tackle problems - reporting crime, giving evidence or being part of a community group to help to reduce crime.

Public evidence collection is now taking place and there is the opportunity to take part by completing a Have Your Say questionnaire that can be found on :

Link now no longer available

The terms of reference can also be found at this address.

Please note the closing date is 11 April 2008.

Take part in the survey and encourage others to do so.


The review will report by June 2008 to the Home Secretary, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, the Secretary of State for Justice, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

A copy of the final report will be available on the Cabinet Office website :

This notice was previously linked to an advertisement on the Homepage of this website to encourage readers to take part in the surveyThe advertisment was removed on 16th April 2008.


Published by and the copyright is held by : Association of Police Authorities (APA)
Published : October 2009
Format : Pocket sized leaflet, 4 fold / 10 page.

Amendments : No amendments have been made to the wording of this document. Page 6 was mainly blank apart from the wording "YOUR LOCAL POLICE AUTHORITY IS". This wording has been repositioned to this paragraph to allow the remainder of this document to flow logically.


This guide tells you what happens if you are stopped by the police.

For more detailed information, including legal definitions, translations into alternative languages and different formats go to  [Note 1] or contact your local police authority.

 What is 'stop and account'?

'Stop and account' is when an officer stops you and asks you:
- what you are doing;
- why you are in an area or where you are going; or
- what you are carrying.

A police officer or police community support officer (PCSO) does not have the power to force you to stay with them if you are stopped and asked for your actions.

Who can carry out a 'stop and account'?
- A police officer; or
- a PCSO.

A PCSO must be in uniform but a police officer does not have to be. They must show you their identity card if not in uniform.

What is recorded and your right to a receipt

If you are stopped the officer will only record your ethnicity and you will be given a receipt showing the date and time you were stopped, and the officer's name and details.

What is 'stop and search'?

You can be stopped and searched when an officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that you are carrying:

- drugs, weapons or stolen property; or
- items which could be used to commit a crime.

Sometimes officers can stop and search you within a specific area without any reasonable grounds if it is believed that:

- serious violence could take place, or offensive weapons are being carried or have been used; or
- a terrorist threat has been identified.

The officer must explain this to you and must be searching for weapons or items which could be used in connection with violence or terrorism.

A screening (knife) arch is not a stop and search. You can't be forced to go through, but refusal may result in further officer action or even a full search.

Please note that an officer can confiscate cigarettes or alcohol in view (even if it is in a container) if you are underage. This is not a stop and search.

Who can 'stop and search' you?

- A police officer who must be in uniform if the search is related to terrorism or serious violent crime - if they are not in uniform, they must show you their identity card; or

- a PCSO, but only if the search is related to terrorism, they are in uniform and with a police officer.

How should a stop and search be carried out?

Before you are searched, the officer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that you understand:

- that you must wait to be searched;
- what law they are using and your rights;
- their name and ID number;
- the station they work at;
- why they stopped you;
- what they are looking for; and
- your right to a receipt.

The officer can ask you to take off more than an outer coat, jacket or gloves, and anything you wear for religious reasons, such as a face scarf, veil or turban, but only if they take you somewhere out of public view.

You can ask that the officer who searches you is the same sex as you.
It does not mean you are being arrested.

What is recorded and your right to a receipt

If you are searched you have the right to a receipt and the officer must record the following details:

- your name or a description of you (only if you are searched);
- how you describe your ethnic background;
- when and where you were stopped or searched;

Remember, if you are stopped by the police, you have rights

The officer who stops you must:
• treat you with dignity and respect;
• give you the reason why you have been stopped;
• give you their details, including name, police number and station; and
• give you a copy of the stop/search form;

You have the right to complain if you have not been treated fairly.

For more detailed information, translations into alternative languages and different formats go
to [Note 1] or contact your local police authority.- why you were stopped or searched;
- if they are taking any action against you;
- the names and/or numbers of the officers; and
- if you were searched, what they were looking for and anything they found.

The officer will ask you for your name, address and date of birth.

You do not have to give these unless you are being arrested or reported for an offence.
You will be given a receipt and it is important to keep this as you will need it if you wish to make a complaint or see the full record of the stop and search at a later date.

What if you are in a vehicle?

Your vehicle can be stopped at any time and you may be asked to show your driving documents. If searched or asked to account for yourself, you must receive a written record.

What can you do if you are unhappy about how you were treated?

The officer should treat you fairly and with respect. If you are unhappy with how you were treated, you can complain. If you feel you were treated differently because of your race, age, sexual orientation, gender, disability, religion or faith, you can complain. It will help if you keep the receipt that the police gave you.

You can get advice about how to make a complaint from:

- a police station;
- your local police authority;
- a Citizen's Advice Bureau;
- the Independent Police Complaints Commission;
- the Equality and Human Rights Commission; or
- a solicitor.

The police welcome feedback on your experience - contact your local police authority or take the survey at [Note 1]

Published by the APA © October 2009



The following contains extracts from the Enfield Council booklet "Protecting vulnerable adults from abuse" and Enfield Councils leaflet (#) "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day - 15th June 2007".  

This website page does not contain the complete documents.


A vulnerable adult is a person age 18 years or over who is or may be in need of community care services because they are unable to take care of themselves, or protect themselves from harm or being exploited. This may be because they have a mental health problem, a disability, a sensory impairment or are old and frail.


Abuse is mistreatment by any other person that violates a person's human rights.

There are many different forms of abuse :

  • Physical Abuse could be pushing, hitting, punching, slapping, physically forcing someone, using inappropriate restraint or misusing medication.
  • Sexual Abuse means involving a vulnerable adult in sexual activity when they do not, or are not able, to give their consent.
  • Financial Abuse is where another person uses a vulnerable adult's resources for their own advantage, for example, changing ownership of a property without the vulnerable person's permission, keeping the change after a shopping trip on behalf of the vulnerable adult, using the vulnerable person's telephone, food or other resources, or controlling the vulnerable adult's access to their own money and benefits.
  • Negelect is where a carer or caring agency fails to meet a vulnerable adult's need for care, resulting in a risk to their wellbeing. For example, ignoring medical or physical care needs or withholding food, drink or heating.
  • Emotional or Psychological Abuse includes shouting at, belittlling, ridiculing or bullying a vulnerable adult, or pressurising them to make decisions.
  • Discriminatory Abuse involves treating a person in a way that does not respect their race, culture and ethnic background, age, sex, disability and sexuality.
  • Institutional Abuse is where the structure of an organization, such as a residential home, nursing home, hospital, police or local authority is abusive because of poor or inadequate care, neglect or poor practice.


Abuse can happen anywhere - at home, in a residential or nursing home, a hospital, in the workplace, at a day centre or educational establishment, in supported housing or in the street.


The person who is responsible for the abuse is often well known to the person being abused, and could be :

  • A paid carer or volunteer
  • A health, social care or other worker
  • A relative, friend or neighbour
  • Another resident or service user
  • A stranger, or
  • People and organizations that deliberately exploit vulnerable people.


It is not always easy to recognise signs of abuse. It could result in a number of changes in the way the person acts and looks, they may :

  • Become withdrawn
  • Become unhappy or distressed
  • Have marks or bruising on their body
  • Appear neglected


    If you feel that you or a vulnerable adult has been abused or is at risk of abuse, you should contact :

    • Police on 999 ( if you or the person you are concerned about are in immediate danger )
    • Adult Social Services, Enfield Council * on telephone : 020 8379 1000

    * if you do not live within the London Borough of Enfield call your local councils main telephone number and ask for your local Adult Social Services contact details.

    Your concerns will be taken seriously and will receive prompt attention.

    If you are reporting the abuse of another person, the information will be treated in the strictest confidence. Both Adult Social Sevices and the Police will deal with the situation with care and sensitivity. If you want to remain anonymous, this will be respected and on all occasions we will take care not to reveal your name


    Do not :

    • Start to inverstigate the situation yourself.
    • Confront the person responsible for the abuse
    • Destroy any evidence.


    When abuse is reported to Enfield Council or any other professional organization, a member of staff will come and talk to the person as quickly as possible.

    • If there is immediate danger, we will aim to visit you or the person who you are concerned about straight away.
    • If there is a significant risk of harm, we will aim to visit within 24 hours.

    Enfield Adult Social Services will find out as much as possible about what has happened by talking to :

    • The vulnerable adult
    • Those involved with the care of the vulnerable person
    • The Police
    • Other professionals and agencies.

    Occasionally, the vulnerable adult may refuse the help that is offered and Enfield Adult Social Services have limited powers to take action against their wishes. However, agencies will continue to monitor the situation closely.


    Laws are constantly evolving, being cancelled etc. The examples quoted above are for information and should not be used as legal fact. Seek clarification from a Citizen Advice Bureau or a Solicitor.