Man risks own safety by interrupting burglary

Man risks own safety by interrupting burglary

An Adelaide man awoke to discover two would-be thieves attempting to access a storage container on the back of his truck. 

After interrupting their actions, the suspects tried to attack the man with a metal pole and allegedly bit him. The victim was able to apprehend one of the suspects but the other one escaped, South Australia Police reports. 

Despite the risk to his personal safety, the victim took it upon himself to perform a citizen's arrest and detain the criminal until the police arrived. These cannot always be avoided, however, caution must be exercised and they should only be performed in an emergency situation. 

This is because intervening in a crime can lead to serious injuries that can have long-term psychological impacts. 

In a report released in August, the Australian Institute of Criminology, studied physical assault (excluding domestic violence and sexual assault) and it's impact on victims. 

The study found that an overwhelming majority (93 per cent) of victims rated themselves as experiencing severe feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, hyper-vigilance or anger as a result.

Impacts also extended to potentially sustaining serious injuries or memory and coordination problems, which could affect education or employability.

The Australian Federal Police has advice on these types of arrests, as well as ways to avoid them to reduce personal risk. Here are three of its key points when considering a citizen's arrest:

1) Do not take action unless you are certain it's a crime in progress

If you are unsure if someone is committing a felony, it is best not to interfere. Not only do you risk your personal safety by taking action, but you could be wrong. Leaving it to the police or security professionals, if a feasible option, should always be your first response. 

2) Invest in internal security

The Federal Police advises businesses to take develop effective in-house security. This could be through mobile security patrols or ensuring staff are fully trained on emergency procedures and policies. 

3) Purchase deterring security systems

Burglars are less likely to enter a home if it clearly has an alarm system in place. It can also prevent future break-ins if you have already been a victim of theft, as criminals are more likely to target your business once they have already gained entrance because they know the layout. 

Security systems are also useful for misdemeanours such as vandalism.

And most importantly, the Federal Police states that you must remember to stay calm and alert until law enforcement arrives. 

Interrupting criminals is very dangerous, and investing in reliable security solutions for your property can help you avoid having to intervene and risk your personal safety. 

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