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View Full Version : UK: The worm turns; Right to defend ones self in home


aileron
07-18-2008, 6:37 AM
Wow, they're going to let them defend themselves. Someone woke up?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/2303004/Have-a-go-heroes-get-legal-right-to-defend-themselves.html#continue


'Have-a-go heroes' get legal right to defend themselves
By Richard Edwards, Crime Correspondent and Chris Hope, Home Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 6:54AM BST 16/07/2008 | Comments 248 | Have Your Say
Home owners and “have-a go-heroes” have for the first time been given the legal right to defend themselves against burglars and muggers free from fear of prosecution.
A police man at the gates of a property: 'Have-a-go heroes' get legal right to defend themselves
JUSTIN SUTCLIFFE
In practice, householders are seldom prosecuted if they harm or even kill an intruder but the Act will give them greater legal protection

They will be able to use force against criminals who break into their homes or attack them in the street without worrying that "heat of the moment” misjudgements could see them brought before the courts.

Under new laws police and prosecutors will have to assess a person’s actions based on the person’s situation "as they saw it at the time” even if in hindsight it could be seen as unreasonable.

For example, homeowners would be able stab or shoot a burglar if confronted or tackle them and use force to detain them until police arrive. Muggers could be legally punched and beaten in the street or have their own weapons used against them.

However, attacking a fleeing criminal with a weapon is not permitted nor is lying in wait to ambush them.

The new laws follow a growing public campaign for people to be given the right to defend themselves and their own homes in the wake of a number of high profile cases.

In 2000, Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer, was sent to prison for manslaughter for shooting an intruder in his home.

Earlier this year, Tony Singh, a shopkeeper, found himself facing a murder charge after he defended himself against an armed robber who tried to steal his takings. During the struggle the robber received a single fatal stab wound to the heart with his own knife.

The Crown Prosecution Service eventually decided Mr Singh should not be charged.

Until now people have had to prove in court that they acted in self defence but the changes mean police and the Crown Prosecution Service will decide on cases before this stage.

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, said that people would be protected legally if they defend themselves "instinctively”; they fear for their own safety or that of others; and the level of force used is not excessive or disproportionate.

He added the changes in law were designed to ensure the criminal justice system was weighted in favour of the victim.

Mr Straw – and other Labour ministers – have previously repeatedly blocked attempts by opposition MPs to give greater protection to householders.

In 2004 Tony Blair promised to review the existing legislation after he admitted there was "genuine public concern” about the issue.

But his pledge was dropped weeks later after the then Home Secretary Charles Clarke concluded that the current law was "sound”.

Two Private Member’s Bills on the issue were tabled by the Tories around the time of the 2005 general election, but both were sunk by the Government.

In 2004, a Tory Bill designed to give the public the right to forcibly tackle burglars was also rejected.

The new self defence law, which came into force yesterday, is contained in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and was announced by Mr Straw last September.

He is understood to have decided new laws were necessary after he was involved in four "have-a go’’ incidents, which included chasing and restraining muggers near his south London home.

Opposition leaders said it offered nothing new and was merely the latest policy designed to appeal to core Tory voters.

In practice, householders are seldom prosecuted if they harm or even kill an intruder but the Act will give them greater legal protection.

Nick Herbert, the Shadow Justice Secretary, said: "This is a typical Labour con – it will give no greater protection to householders confronted by burglars because it’s nothing more than a re-statement of the existing case law.”

Mr Straw said: "The justice system must not only work on the side of people who do the right thing as good citizens, but also be seen to work on their side.

"The Government strongly supports the right of law abiding people to defend themselves, their families and their property with reasonable force. This law will help to make sure that that right is upheld and that the criminal justice system is firmly weighted in favour of the victim.

"Dealing with crime is not just the responsibility of the police, courts and prisons; it’s the responsibility of all of us. Communities with the lowest crime and the greatest safety are the ones with the most active citizens with a greater sense of shared values, inspired by a sense of belonging and duty to others, who are empowered by the state and are also supported by it – in other words, making a reality of justice.

"These changes in the law will make clear – victims of crime, and those who intervene to prevent crime, should be treated with respect by the justice system. We do not want to encourage vigilantism, but there can be no justice in a system which makes the victim the criminal."

It came as it emerged that homeowners could have to wait up to three days after reporting a crime to see a police officer, according to a leaked draft of the Policing Green Paper.

It sets out new national standards for local policing for all 43 forces cross England and Wales.

Callers to the police will be given set times within which officers will attend an incident.

The paper says that this will be "within three hours it if requires policing intervention or three days if there is less immediate need for a police presence."

However, the Home Office would not comment on the plans.

fleegman
07-18-2008, 7:20 AM
n 2000, Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer, was sent to prison for manslaughter for shooting an intruder in his home.I remember when he was originally sentenced to life in prison and denied early parole because he was considered an "ongoing threat to burglars". What a seriously messed up legal system.

Glock22Fan
07-18-2008, 8:11 AM
The new self defence law, which came into force yesterday, is contained in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and was announced by Mr Straw last September.

He is understood to have decided new laws were necessary after he was involved in four "have-a go’’ incidents, which included chasing and restraining muggers near his south London home.

How often have we said that the best way to convince a liberal of the rightness of our cause was to mug him or her?

dfletcher
07-18-2008, 8:43 AM
So after seizing their guns, the government decides it's OK for citizens to defend themselves? Anything is better than nothing, but if I were a British subject I would remind the government of Churchill's 1941 speech when he said "Give us the tools, and we will finish the job".

Nose Nuggets
07-18-2008, 9:31 AM
How often have we said that the best way to convince a liberal of the rightness of our cause was to mug him or her?

there is a sad amount of truth in that statement. there was one anti gun guy here in the states, who's name eludes me, that this happened too. he was mugged in the street or had his home invaded and he changed his tune inside 24 hours. stuff like "i felt helpless" and "i was at the mercy of the criminal with no way to defend myself". no **** Sherlock.

Glock22Fan
07-18-2008, 2:15 PM
there is a sad amount of truth in that statement. there was one anti gun guy here in the states, who's name eludes me, that this happened too. he was mugged in the street or had his home invaded and he changed his tune inside 24 hours. stuff like "i felt helpless" and "i was at the mercy of the criminal with no way to defend myself". no **** Sherlock.

You don't have to look far, though I too remember a recent "conversion" of someone else as well.


"Because less than twenty years ago I was the target of a terrorist group. It was the New World Liberation Front. They blew up power stations and put a bomb at my home when my husband was dying of cancer. And the bomb didn't detonate. ... I was very lucky. But, I thought of what might have happened. Later the same group shot out all the windows of my home" "And, I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that's what I did. I was trained in firearms. I'd walk to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon. I made the determination that if somebody was going to try to take me out, I was going to take them with me."
-U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat from California

KTGunner
07-18-2008, 2:35 PM
WOW, this is huge. As I recall, in most countries in Europe (minus Switzerland :13:) you have to basically be shot at first in order to be legally allowed to shoot back.

Maybe the world isn't so crazy? ... ... nahhhhh :willy_nilly: it really still is

CCWFacts
07-18-2008, 3:05 PM
WOW, this is huge. As I recall, in most countries in Europe (minus Switzerland :13:) you have to basically be shot at first in order to be legally allowed to shoot back.

Not true. Austria has a right to self defense and a right to keep arms. Armed self-defense is legitimate and legally accepted there, although crime rates are low so it doesn't come up very often.

Stanze
07-18-2008, 3:08 PM
Self-defense is a human right. Not one, that a shanty gov can give or take away.:rolleyes:

Glock22Fan
07-18-2008, 3:14 PM
I read a scenario from England.

The victim is attacked, unprovoked, by a man with a shotgun. Victim grabs the shotgun and wrestles, which causes shotgun to fire, killing the perp.

Victim has to "prove" that the gun went off by accident, that victim didn't deliberately turn the shotgun towards the perp and cause the gun to fire. It is, apparently, an uphill battle to avoid a "deliberate murder" charge.

This is one case for keeping your mouth shut. The slightest hint of "Serves him right" and victim is in big trouble.

AaronHorrocks
07-18-2008, 3:31 PM
Self-defense is a human right. Not one, that a shanty gov can give or take away.:rolleyes:

Um, most animals and even some plants can defend themselves too! ;)

PonchoTA
07-18-2008, 3:38 PM
I remember when he was originally sentenced to life in prison and denied early parole because he was considered an "ongoing threat to burglars". What a seriously messed up legal system.

I hope to have the same reputation! :D I'll wear it proudly!

Subvertz
07-18-2008, 5:03 PM
Just today, British cops beat up by a mob of kids and adults:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,385841,00.html