If you only take one lesson away from this article let it be this – in the UK, trespassing is not considered a criminal offence. What does this mean? Ultimately, this means that security guards must be very careful when dealing with trespassers on a property.
But wait, if it’s not a criminal offence, what is it? Trespassing is considered to be a civil offence. While this sounds similar, a civil offence dramatically restricts your power to legally do anything.
However, you’re not totally powerless. You can take action and get the person who has trespassed off the property. To do this, it’s crucial that you take the right steps and measures if you think that someone has trespassed on the property that you are protecting. Let’s take a look at these.
Make Sure They Are A Trespasser
Before you take any action against someone that you believe is trespassing, do make sure that you check that they haven’t been invited onto the property. If they have been invited they are not a trespasser and doing anything at all will only lead to an embarrassing situation for you.
Are They Aware They Are Trespassing?
Even if they are not supposed to be on the property, it’s equally possible that they aren’t aware they are trespassing. They could have wandered in to ask for directions. You need to stay calm and ask them to leave as politely as possible.
Assuming that they are well mannered and agree to leave, you can escort them out the nearest exit. You can also talk to them and make sure that they are aware that they were trespassing and what could happen if they did it again.
Dealing With A True Trespasser
You might have found an actual trespasser who knows they shouldn’t be there and may have no plans to leave the property. At this point, you can use reasonable force to remove them. However, you do need to be aware of the full definition of reasonable force to do this.
Defining Reasonable Force
If a trespasser is being aggressive and even violent, then legally they can be forcibly removed. You can push them, pull them forward and essentially use the necessary amount of force to get them off the property.
If however, their aggression is purely verbal, it is not reasonable to touch them at all. Particularly, if they are coming with you willingly.
It’s worth making sure that there is someone with you if you need to physically remove someone from the property.
Severe Levels Of Aggression From A Trespasser
Dealing with severe levels of aggression from someone trespassing on the property will require the police to be called. When you contact the police, explain the situation in as much detail as possible. Give them as much information as you can including how the trespasser is behaving and their potential state of mind.
Keep Accurate Records
Finally, you need to make sure that you accurately record the incident writing all the details down. Use the documents provided by your business to do this and make sure that everything is totally by the book. This will prevent any further complications or potential disputes if your records are reviewed by authorities.