INTRUDERS found here at night will be found here in the morning.

New Yorkers sure know how to do warning signs.

Over here that would be regarded as a bit of car sticker fun, the Yanks' equivalent of our, "We don't dial 999".

The difference is, American householders are deadly serious.

Their signs convey a terminal ring of truth.

It's only to be expected that in the gun capital of the world such quietly sinister guarantees promise more bite than "Beware of the Dog".

One of the great pillars of our democracy, and no doubt a boon for burglars and anyone else suffering from chronic enteritis, is that the UK has never embraced that gun culture.

Alongside the Republic of Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, and Norway we're the only major nations with unarmed police officers.

A debate for change is regularly reignited after particularly heinous shootings and if it was left to the great British public at such times I suspect the cops would probably be armed by now.

We've never sought our own right to bear arms, but at the very least we demand the right to protect ourselves against intruders in our own home without fear of being arrested for abusing the scumbag's human rights.

When someone breaks into your home they relinquish all rights and they deserve everything they get.

It's called burglary in England, in Scotland it's housebreaking.

There are subtle differences in each offence, but only down south is there protection for the victims.

Their law was changed last year to appease public outrage after some high-profile cases of homeowners being arrested and even jailed after confronting criminals.

New regulations state "disproportionate force" against an intruder may be permissible in certain circumstances, although "grossly disproportionate force" is still never permissible.

"Grossly disproportionate" would presumably be hitting them with a golf club 10 times, then asking the cops to put you down for a five.

The Scottish Government insists it is for our courts to determine what is reasonable force, but they are way out of sync with the electorate, who feel this is one law past its cell-by date.

According to research for insurers RIAS, some 96% of Scots, the equivalent of 3.9million adults, think it's acceptable to batter a burglar.

And 19% of those, or almost one in five, would personally take on any housebreaker they found on their property.

It's hard to believe 33% think violence against a burglar can never be justified.

Tell that to the elderly victims, the soft targets, regularly featured in our newspapers with their faces battered beyond recognition.

Tell that to ex-England footballer Ian Wright after intruders last week threatened to cut off his kids' fingers.

Tell that to folk left psychologically and emotionally traumatised by the invasion of their homes.

Try telling all these folk that burglary is a minor crime, and that if you're insured, what's the problem.

The Scottish Government's own crime and justice survey revealed the number of break-ins has shot up by a quarter in the last two years.

There are 95 housebreakings-a-day in Scotland, a home ransacked every 15 minutes.

One in three Scots lives in fear their home will be broken into, although it has to be said that fear is greater than the probability of actually being a victim.

I remember stats that claimed thousands of Scots are so worried that they sleep with weapons by their side, baseball bats being the protection of choice. I can claim nothing more lethal by my side than my wife's elbows.

And on that pointed subject, I'd like to know how burglars get into a house without waking herself. I've not managed that in 40 years.

NOVELIST Jeanette Winterson unleashed a storm of abuse on Twitter last week with her picture of a big-eared, wide-eyed rabbit — skinned and adorning her chopping board.

She explained: "Rabbit ate my parsley. I am eating the rabbit."

It was simmered in a pot with cider, rosemary and thyme, and presumably some parsley. And she fed the entrails to her cat.

Winterson (Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit) might have butchered Roger Rabbit, such was the bitter response to her humane revenge killing after her veg plot was ravaged.

She's lived in the countryside for 20 years and, much as townies might cringe, kill and cook is the unsentimental reality of what country folk do. Disneyland it aint.

Despite the horse meat scandal, factory farming, and abattoir horror stories, hypocrites are perfectly happy scoffing beef, chicken, lamb, piglet, Bambi, Donald Duck — yes, even Bugs Bunny — provided they don't have to witness the slaughter.

By the way, anyone have a recipe for magpie?