Comment: Roland White: Shooting burglars is wrong, but it might be reasonable
A man called Tony Gladstone was staring out of his
window late one evening when he happened to notice
two youths breaking into his garden shed. Without
hesitation he called the police.
But you know what it’s like what with staff shortages, heavy workload, and logistical difficulties. The police were sorry but they didn’t have anybody available for catching burglars at that particular moment.
Mr Gladstone is obviously a quick-thinking sort of a chap because about a minute later he phoned again. “I called just now because there were people in my shed,” he said. “Well, you don’t have to hurry now because I’ve shot them.”
Minutes later, Mr Gladstone’s Hampshire village was bathed in blue light. There were half a dozen patrol cars on the scene. There were helicopters, plus an armed response unit ready for action. Against these odds, the burglars decided to come quietly.
After all the excitement was over, the senior officer confronted the enterprising homeowner. “I thought you said you’d shot them,” he said, possibly a little curtly.
“I thought you said there was nobody available,” replied Mr Gladstone.