Help: Saw Neighbours Trespassing in My Backyard, Police Said It Was Lawful
Last edited 14/09/2018 - 20:02
This is a lengthy post. I am still pretty freaked out: you see strangers opening the gate and walking around in your backyard.
So today I saw my next door neighbour and his wife trespassing in my backyard through the window. They opened the side gate (it was locked with one of those latches (http://pccruises.co/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/storage-shed-...) and were their quite some time. By the time I got decently dressed, they were gone. It really freaked me out because I have chronic anxiety, live alone (with one year old twins) and I don't have security cameras. At first I didn't know who it was then I recognised it was my neighbours. I never gave them permission to access my backyard.
I called the police (station, not 000 since it wasn't an emergency and they had gone) an spoke to someone and he said "you are able to open the gate and go into someone's backyard without their consent. We [police] do it all the time." And he was explaining how it was A-OK. It was a grey area because it depends on lawful intent but that it was a grey area and technically (according to him) there is nothing wrong with going into someone else's yard without their consent.
And the policeman over the phone said it was not trespassing, because trespassing is when you go out, see them without permission on your premises and tell them to leave and if they don't leave, that is trespassing. I went over to their house to ask them and they weren't there. I didn't like his explanation because what if you do have security cameras and they catch someone snooping around in your yard. What do I do?
Edit: feel free to suggest security systems/cameras or anything. Just to clarify some things:
- I went over to their house and knocked three times (three sets of knocks), they don't have a doorbell. So I went home, wrote a note and left a short note for them asking what they were doing.
- several people thought i was naked/wearing only underwear. I wasn't, I was wearing sweatpants and an old jumper.
- I have really
- i have really bad anxiety and it affects my everyday life and I initially didnt want to confront them (at first I thought it was the neighbors in their own yard, then I saw there were actually in my yard)
- I got dressed (few mins) and went upside, but they were gone.
- the wife was (I'm presuming) there a few seconds??
- polic explained it like anyone can walk into somebody else's house, unlock their sidegate and enter the backyard and just snoop around.