Myleene Klass’s actions when she spotted intruders at her home has prompted campaigners to question police priorities, reigniting the debate over how far people should go to protect themselves.
Myleene was said to be “aghast” and “bemused” after being warned by officers for waving a knife at youths who entered her garden.
The 31-year-old TV star and Marks & Spencer model was in the kitchen with her daughter upstairs when she spotted the teenagers peering into her window just after midnight on Friday.
She grabbed a knife and banged the windows before they ran away.
But Myleene, who rose to fame in reality pop band Hear’Say, said she was told by Hertfordshire Police officers she should not have used a knife to scare off the youths because carrying an “offensive weapon” – even in her own home – was illegal.
Her spokesman Jonathan Shalit said the star was “utterly terrified” and was stepping up security at the property near Potters Bar.
Last month, Munir Hussain was jailed for beating a man who tied up his family in their home prompting the Conservatives to pledge they would make it harder for people who tackle burglars to be prosecuted.
Victims campaigner Norman Brennan called for a greater police presence on the streets to act as a deterrent and said Myleene’s actions were understandable.
“I can understand the police would have been concerned if she had chased them up the street with a knife in her hand,” he said. “It wasn’t the best thing she did, however, it was an instinctive action of a mother with a child at home.
“When you rarely see police officers on the street reassuring the public, it’s a bit rich for the police to start telling householders how to behave within their own confines, especially in this particular case where someone has got a baby at home.
“Perhaps they should be apologising for not being on the beat as often as they should be.
A spokeswoman for Herts Police said no reference was made on the Myleene incident report about a weapon. She said: “It was treated as a trespass incident. Words of advice were given in relation to ensuring suspicious behaviour is reported immediately.”