New law allows use of 'reasonable force' against burglars
Residents will be legally entitled to use reasonable force when defending themselves against intruders under a new law.
The Criminal Law, Defence and Dwelling Act 2011 provides for the use of reasonable force to protect people in the residence from assault, to prevent the commission of a crime and to protect the property.
The Act says that a person who uses reasonable force cannot be sued for damages by a burglar and will not be guilty of an offence.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said: "This legislation is good news for homeowners and bad news for burglars."