[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2004, 17:20 GMT
Was Ozzy right to confront burglar?
Ozzy Osbourne
Police have praised the actions of Ozzy Osbourne who "very courageously" tackled a burglar in his Buckinghamshire home.

Rock Star Ozzy grabbed the intruder, who then broke free and jumped from a first floor window taking with him a large amount of family jewellery including his wife's wedding rings.

Ozzy said he was "just coming to grips" with what had happened and his opinion of the UK had been lowered after 12 relatively trouble-free years in the US.

What do you think of Ozzy's reaction? What action would you take in his position? How far should the protection of property rights go? Send us your experiences and views.

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


Your comments:

I gave chase and was told off by the police!!!
Phil Daw, Cardiff, UK
I came face to face with burglars at my house 3 years ago. They got away... I gave chase and was told off by the police!!! The police said that they could have injured themselves as they ran through and around my garden eventually jumping a wall. As the criminals didn't think twice before breaking my glass door and whether I would injure myself on the broken glass (or strain myself cleaning up the property after their criminal acts), why should I care if they injure themselves whilst they carry out their criminal acts?
Phil Daw, Cardiff, UK

Well done Ozzy! It's about time people started to stand up to these vile creatures who think they can just break in and take what other people have worked hard to earn.
Vik, UK

Yes I do believe Ozzy was right. After being burgled twice, both times while I, my husband and children were all in bed, I would now have no problem in tackling them. It's not the fact that they take anything, it's the fact that they have been in your house going through your things that you have worked hard for.
Sue, Birmingham, UK

I think the police should be ashamed of themselves condoning his actions, besides which I also find it incredibly hard to believe Ozzy was capable of such an act. I think the burglar is only refraining from coming forward and pressing charges because he's too embarrassed!
Jennifer, Netherlands, ex UK

Funny - someone famous tackles an intruder and gets away with it, a mere commoner does the same thing and gets charged with assault on the intruder... Smacks of double standards.
Sanchia, Hove

I think Ozzy was right to defend himself and his property
Peter, Cambs

I think Ozzy was right to defend himself and his property, it is better to do something than nothing at all.
Lewis Benson, Telford

I applaud Mr Osbourne's actions, however he must now be waiting anxiously for the knock on the door from the police - not to tell him that the criminals have been apprehended and his goods have been recovered - but that he is under arrest for hurting the poor intruder.
Peter, Cambs

Good show, it's now time to bring in a law that if you break the law you lose your rights. Then we can defend our property properly without being sued etc.
Derran, Wales, UK

Is this really a true picture of what happened? What sort of burglar would manage to get caught by someone who can't walk faster than 1 mph!
Carl, Scarborough

I can't believe so much time and ink have been taken up with this story. When my flat was broken into, there was no press conference, just a hard luck and contact your insurance company. It's definitely a case of how the other half lives!
Lisa, UK

I just wanted to pass on my thoughts to the Osbournes. They have had a difficult year and this goes to show that issues like this affect us all, regardless of status or fame. We all need to take an interest in these problems but at this time my best wishes for the future do go to the Osbournes.
Paul, Wigan

An individual has the right to protect his or her home from intruders
Andrea Rye, Exeter, UK
I believe that an individual has the right to protect his or her home from intruders. What a sad state our country is in under Labour when we cannot defend ourselves for fear that the burglar will sue us. It should be law that an intruder, by their illegal actions and violation of the right of their victims, have no rights themselves. Ozzy did what anyone would do and should be commended for it.
Andrea Rye, Exeter, UK

I doubt Mr O could knock the skin off a rice pudding. Even so, he was probably acting as much out of instinct if the alleged incident took place. Just what on earth were they thinking of, leaving that amount of valuables lying about? Little wonder someone tried to 'help themselves'. More to the point, why wasn't the house secured and alarmed?
Dan, Bath

I think he showed remarkable restraint, under the circumstances. My husband is recovering from cancer, just like Sharon Osbourne, and I think if anyone threatened his safety after having gone through the nightmare stress of cancer, I would find it difficult to stop at merely a headlock.
Brenda O'Sullivan, UK

I would have done the same thing as Ozzy given the situation. I find it strange that the police praised him for tackling the burglar though. A neighbour of mine was criticised for intervening and moving a gang of thugs from our estate (putting himself at risk) - after waiting over half an hour for the police to arrive. They arrived just as the thugs were leaving.
Andy Bird, Cheshire, UK

I have no doubt whatsoever that Oz only reacted in the same way as the rest of us and I totally empathise with his and Sharon's comments. The sad bit is that compared to LA, of all places, that in sleepy Chalfont that some burglar would see the Osbourne's as fair game. I'd like to echo another poster in saying the burglar got let off lightly and deserved more than a 30 foot drop. Had Oz "done a Tony Martin" on the burglar I would not have thought any the less of him.
Steve, Chesham (too close to Chalfont!)

I'm surprised he was in a fit state to do anything
Lester Stenner, Weston super Mare UK
I'm surprised he was in a fit state to do anything. It was probably all the swear words that frightened the burglar away, plus the thought of being harangued by his wife.
Lester Stenner, Weston super Mare UK

It just goes to show that Radio 4 listeners were right when they voted in their poll for a law to repeal the shameful criminalisation of using any means necessary to defend one's family and property in one's own home.
Tom, London

How on earth can anyone believe that he actually tackled a burglar and had him in a head lock? Was this burglar somehow stuck to the floor?
Jon, UK

This sort of courageous action should be common place amongst the decent law abiding majority. Even having this debate in the first place shows how far down the destructive human rights driven path we have gone. The law should without a doubt back a persons right to defend his or her property and it's just a pity Ozzy didn't tighten his grip on the neck of that felon! The saddest part of this whole event however is that Ozzy's opinion of his homeland has been lowered. I know how he feels. This debate would not be happening had this been in the USA.
Ed, UK

Tony Martin shot a fleeing burglar in the back, Ozzy Osbourne used reasonable force to tackle a burglar. There is a huge difference between the two cases, but all we seem to be hearing here is the old chestnut about the law favouring only criminals. Ozzy, like a lot of people receiving far less or no publicity, is not, and will not be treated as a criminal
Mike Wagstaff, Rotherham, UK

I think the burglar should count himself lucky it was only Ozzy who got hold of him and that Kelly and Jack were back home in the US. They'd have "given him what for"
Melanie, London, UK

It's such a huge invasion of privacy and they will be suffering from this for a long time
Anya, London, UK
The poor family. It's such a huge invasion of privacy and they will be suffering from this for a long time. I say well done to Ozzy for defending his rights - we are entitled to use reasonable force in threatening situations and I for one wish that the intruder had been damaged enough not to be able to get away.
Anya, London, UK

When my lodger (and so called friend) stole from my house - he ended up with nothing more than a 200 fine.
James Murphy, Dorset, UK

Pure class from Ozzy, maybe this will finally begin a move to change the law and empower home owners to be able to defend their family and property without getting locked up themselves.
Jon Perrin, Lincoln, UK

IF anyone actually had the common sense to include in a criminal bill that one can not claim compensation whilst in the act of committing or when travelling to or from a crime, we would all be able to sensibly protect our families and property without ever having to put up with insane claims made by legal aid grabbing lawyers.
Dave, Reading

Looks as if Ozzy took the government's pledge to tackle crime in his own hands. Maybe they should make him an advisor.
Ed Karten, London, England

It's lovely to see public opinion so united over this
Evan, Edinburgh
It's lovely to see public opinion so united over this. There seems to be a consensus that anyone who breaks into your house is worthy of a beating and guess what...I completely agree. How typical that, in the face of such public unity, legislation flies in the face of what we believe. Democracy in action there.
Evan, Edinburgh

Maybe we should advertise the addresses of all these PC do-gooders so the burglar can target their houses; knowing they will be welcomed with open arms - and probably served tea and biscuits because they must be from a deprived background. Good on you Ozzy!
Mike W, Gravesend, Kent

Maybe a bit foolish and dangerous, but absolutely correct. People not only have a right to stand up to criminals, but a moral & civic obligation to confront them. If anything, protecting ones family, home and property is most fundamental. Burglars, the moment they illegally enter a persons home should lose all rights and protection of law.
James, Espom

Ozzy was incredibly restrained
Peter, Nottingham, UK
I think Ozzy was incredibly restrained. The burglar was very lucky. Personally I think Ozzy would have been well within his rights to throw the burglar out of the window never mind let him escape. In L.A he could have shot him and no-one would complain.
Peter, Nottingham, UK

In this PC age? Is he mad, I fully expect the burglar to bring a damages action against him.
Gerry, Scotland

Possibly a little foolish to tackle someone who has broken into your home, if he'd scratched them slightly they could claim that you assaulted them and try for damages. But jolly good show for having a go, what a pity they got away.
J Burdall, Matlock, England

Absolutely right he should have tackled him. If it was me in Ozzy's position, I'd just hope that my pool cue wasn't in reaching distance. The guy has worked hard to earn his money, and then some guy thinks he can just take it? What else was Ozzy meant to do? Call the police and wait for 4 hours before they actually manage to turn up?
Adam, Preston, England

Are we just supposed to stand by and watch our loved ones get robbed, hurt or worse?
Euan, Aberdeen Scotland
GO OZZY! I can't believe we still live in a country where we can still be arrested if we use force to protect our loved ones from intruders. What happens if someone breaks into your house? Are we just supposed to stand by and watch our loved ones get robbed, hurt or worse?
Euan, Aberdeen, Scotland

Ozzy was right, but he could have got into a lot of trouble (like Tony Martin). It seems the police and judiciary are failing to protect the public, perhaps the government wants to further cut costs by encouraging vigilantes?
Jason, London

If I found someone in my home, and I considered them a threat to my loved ones, I would incapacitate them in any way possible. This would probably mean me going to jail, but it's better than standing back to watch your family being attacked. This government removes the right to trial by jury without batting an eyelid. Why not remove the rights of a person that has broken into someone else's home?
Chris, UK

We lesser beings would be advised to avoid such action to defend our property
Lesley Carol, North Shields, England
I'm slightly concerned that police have praised Ozzy's actions as "very courageous", when I suspect we lesser beings would be advised to avoid such action to defend our property. And - heaven forbid - if Ozzy actually had snapped the burglar's neck (as he implied had crossed his mind), would the police still consider his actions so courageous, or would he be treated as another Tony Martin?
Lesley Carol, North Shields, England

No, because if he hurt the burglar, the human rights brigade would've been all over him like a rash - trying to get compensation for the law-breakers.
Fraser, Essex, England

Good on yer Ozzy! Anyone who breaks into a property with the intention of committing a crime has to accept the consequences. Owners should have the right to meet whatever threat they encounter with an appropriate and similar level of action. The guy who broke into Ozzy's home should be grateful that he is not a chicken!
Andy D, Oxford UK

You have every right to use force to defend yourself
Jonathan Dale, London, UK
I say congrats to Ozzy, he took a bit of a risk, but he has every right to defend his home with a bit of force. A burglar alarm technician who visited our house recently told my mother than they were no longer able to fit loud internal panic alarms in homes, as burglars had made injury claims from being deafened by them. It's a crazy world we live in when criminals who break the law have any rights to make such a claim, or that they are successful. I think that if someone breaks the law and violates your home you have every right to use force to defend yourself and any injuries sustained by the criminal is just too bad.
Jonathan Dale, London, UK

I totally agree with what he tried to do. As far as I can see, if someone breaks into my house, I see no reason why they should be protected from up high. Anything should be fair game...
Steve, Leeds

I take my hat off to Ozzy for trying to protect his family & home. I believe if you find someone invading your property you should be allowed to do what you like to them, after all it is the burglar's decision to be there! I would do the same in his situation, it's just a pity he didn't injure the burglar.
Rich, Reading, UK

Whatever happened to an Englishman's home is his castle?
Steve, UK
Yeah he was right! I would do the same, and I would also have attempted to beat the living daylights out of the criminal. I'm not a great admirer of American domestic policy, but the one thing that they have undoubtedly got right is defending a persons right to protect their home. If someone forces their way into your home with intent to do harm in the US - you can shoot them! Whatever happened to an Englishman's home is his castle?
Steve, UK

Well done Ozzy!, it's just a shame that he didn't break his legs when he fell from the window. The first party to say that burglars lose their rights when they break into your house will get an awful lot of votes (and reduce burglary rates in the process).
Christian Tiburtius, Reading UK

Surely we should be prosecuting Ozzy - the burglar might have been hurt. I sincerely hope Mr Osbourne didn't swear at the poor chap - that would be incitement to burglar hatred. We should lock him up without trial!
Craig, UK

Yes he was right, but yes it was dangerous.
Steve, Rickmansworth (near Chalfont)

The legal system in the UK is so inconsistent
John W, Sheffield, UK
I say good on him however, the way the law in this country now protects the criminal and punishes anyone protecting their property means that Ozzy Osbourne will probably face prosecution. The legal system in the UK is so inconsistent so who knows!
John W, Sheffield, UK

I totally understand his reaction and I agree with his opinion of the UK. That said, I don't think it is possible to lower my opinion of the UK any further.
Gavin, Cardiff, Wales

How come Ozzy is "courageous" but anyone else would be done for attempted assault, maybe it's because the police wanted an autograph?
Max, Bedfordshire, UK

If the burglar had broken his ankle jumping from the window, would Ozzy be arrested for not letting him leave peacefully? I bet that's right
Ed, London UK

PC Plod would have been 27 miles away having a bacon butty at a greasy spoon
Bob, Cheshire
Of course he was. It is just a shame he did not break his neck. PC Plod would have been 27 miles away having a bacon butty at a greasy spoon.
Bob, Cheshire

The problem in the UK is that burglars know they are likely to get something out of it whether or not they are caught in the act by the owners. Recent cases have given law abiding UK citizens doubt about if and how we can defend our homes and deal with intruders.
Ian , Glasgow




SEE ALSO:
Police praise 'courageous' Ozzy
23 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Highs and lows of superstar Ozzy
23 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Ozzy's wife tops rock power list
21 Jun 04 |  Entertainment



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific