No of course you can’t break into a car

The National Police have reminded people that if you break into a car to rescue an animal trapped in the sun, you’ll be done for vehicle theft.

Their Twitter message comes in response to a popular bit of nonsense doing the rounds online which urges people who see an animal locked inside a car to take a photo, then break into the car to rescue the animal. According to the myth, the photo will protect you from legal consequences and prove you to be the hero – it will also allow the police to prosecute the owner of the vehicle for animal cruelty.

Don’t break the window to help. Call the cops instead.

Nonsense say the coppers. Using this theory, anyone caught red handed breaking into vehicles could get off scot-free. If you try breaking in, you’ll be done for vandalism, theft or attempted vehicle theft. You could also seriously hurt yourself.

I mention this because I’ve seen several versions of this message doing the rounds of FB, with many people taking it to heart.

Anyway, the cops say that if you spot a distressed animal locked inside a vehicle, you should call 091 or 112 to report it. Officers will then decide what action to take.

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