Under existing law, UK homeowners have the right to defend themselves and their property with reasonable force.
But a poll carried out for the "Tonight" programme by research firm ComRes found that half of those asked are still confused about what "reasonable force" means.
When questioned about their understanding of the current law on the action a homeowner is allowed to take against intruders:
- 50% said they were "a little confused" about the law.
- 39% generally understood the law and the extent of force they can use.
- 11% said they did not understand the law at all.
ComRes interviewed 2,102 adults online from 7-9 September.
For more on this story watch "Tonight - In Self-Defence," at 7:30pm tonight on ITV1.
The Cooke’s experience at the hands of armed criminals are brought into sharp focus on ‘Tonight – In Self-Defence’ - at 7.30pm on ITV1.
In a TV exclusive, The Tonight Programme meets Vincent and Karen Cooke, who are locked in a nightmare after intruders broke into their home.