BURGLARY AND HOUSEBREAKING

What is the difference between Burglary and Housebreaking ? Burglary must be committed at night-time. Formerly it was necessary to show that the entry was effected when there was not enough daylight to recognise the face of the intruder ; now, however, burglary constitutes an entry between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., Greenwich time. Though burglary is a night offence, housebreaking is not necessarily an offence by day. It constitutes a forced entry such as breaking open a door, lifting up a window, even though the catch is not shut, but it does not include climbing through an open window. If, however, an individual should climb through an open window, and then break open an inner door to gain further access to the house, this constitutes housebreaking.

Even fire-arms may be used against night-intruders, such as burglars, who probably do not carry on their nefarious work unarmed. The occupant of a flat or part of a house, is entitled to similar rights in respect of that portion of the building of which he has the exclusive use. An occupier, using fire-arms for self-defence, however, if he is not in possession of a permit to own such arms, may find himself faced with awkward enquiries when the matter comes to the knowledge of the authorities.

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