Good law

Top stuff in the UK…perhaps Tolley and Crusher can get together and sort out ours too:

Changes to the law to ensure householders who attack burglars will not be prosecuted unless they use “grossly disproportionate” force are to be introduced.

In a major victory for a campaign run by The Sunday Telegraph, the Department for Justice will move to amend the existing law which says only “proportionate” and “reasonable” force can be used by home owners and tenants who confront criminals.

Ahead of the changes being introduced in the House of Lords this week, Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, declared today that the changes will give householders the protection that they need – the confidence that the law will be on their side”.

He adds: “Now the deal will be this: if you are confronted by a burglar in your own home and you fear for your safety, or the safety of others, and in the heat of the moment use force that is reasonable in the circumstances, but in the cold light of day seems disproportionate, you will not be deemed guilty of an offence.”


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  • phronesis

    Problem is that in the UK the only people with guns are the criminals. See the recent case of an SAS member being almost sent to prison because his mates packed his sidearm into his personal kit.

  • Patrick

    “grossly disproportionate force” I am assuming tying the scroats up, beating the f&ck out of their hands with a hammer, busting their kneecaps & towing them through the streets is acceptable? Because that is what they deserve.
    Running over them afterwards might constitute “grossly disproportionate force”

    • peterwn

      No. Once the peril has ended (eg the offender is incapacitated or starts retreating) all force except that needed to restrain the offender becomes ‘unreasonable’.

      • Patrick

        come back and repeat that here after your house has been broken into & your hard earned possessions are gone – or worse your family has been harmed.

        As far as I am concerned if they are on my property without either a lawful reason or my invitation then they are fair game. Pity we are not allowed side arms – no one ever disrepected a ’45.

        • peterwn

          I would be feeling the same way, but if they run away I would heave a big sigh of relief. I would be wishing we had certain aspects of the Singapore justice system in NZ. When I calm down I would appreciate that summarily dealing with intruders or Singapore methods are barbaric. I think in essence that NZ self defence law is pretty good. One difference with the UK is UK cops arrest first and ask questions later in self defence cases. NZ cops investigate first and only proceed after considering the circumstances though IMO they are a bit too inclined to lay charges when ‘self defence’ is fairly obvious.

  • Jaffa

    How do you know it’s a burglar, and not a rapist or murderer.
    Do you have to ask him first?
    And ask if he has a weapon he is prepared to use?
    Or is it best to just shoot him?

  • Mr_V4

    Is an idling chainsaw under the bed OK?

  • Mediaan

    Yes, what a good move in the UK. Excellent.

    For a long time, the police have been unable to attend all incidents quickly but we have still been forbidden to do any harm to the burglar or intruder.

    David Cameron and his cabinet have brought forward several really good ideas recently. Hope they turn out to be enacted in legislation.

    Drawing attention to the over-advantaged status of beneficiaries, for example, in having free extra babies on the benefit when job-working taxpayers have to plan ahead and budget for another child in the family.

    I also seem to be cheering for Julia Gillard a bit lately. This is because her administration is showing brains and courage. This includes announcing the Commission into RC priest abuse and misuse of supposed charitable institutions like catholic orphanages.

    Another subject for cheering, the wonderful National government here which has got rid of that dumbo-duh extension of local council spending powers. Thank you thankyou thankyou … All ratepayers have just had a terrible worry lifted.