Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Rights to Defend Yourself and Property

In an article published by the Telegraph, new measures are now in place. They published a short list of what is now acceptable / unacceptable to protect yourself and your property.


* If fearful for your own life, you can stab or shoot a burglar if they confront you

* Overpower a burglar or a mugger and use their weapon to attack them – whether it is a knife, a gun or a baseball bat.

* Shoot an armed robber in the "heat of the moment" using a shotgun stored in your home if threatened by them

* Fight, punch and beat a mugger in the street threatening you or a bystander

* Tackle a fleeing burglar to the ground and hold them in a headlock until police arrive


* Attack a fleeing burglar with a cricket bat, a golf club, a knife or any other weapon

* Lay in wait for a burglar and ambush them, or shoot them from behind

* Launch any premidated or prolongued attack - such as tying up, torturing or burning a burglar or mugger.

* Shoot or attack a trespasser on private land if they are challenged and run away"

(16/07/2008 Telegraph on line)

There has been much debate over the last decade about this subject with high profile cases like Tony Martin the Norfolk farmer, who was lucky to have Michael Wolkind QC representing him at his appeal, he subsequently had his sentence reduced to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility,and was freed after serving 3 years of a 5 year sentence. Martin however, shot the burglars as they were effecting an escape, much of the above seems written to cover scenarios highlighted by the aforementioned case.

CABOT would never suggest the public should put themselves at risk in any situation, (unless it is unavoidable) but at least now the guidelines are somewhat clearer.

1 comment:

smurf said...

It's about time that the law was made so that if you are burgled you can fight back. As with the case of the farmer when it was on the news at the time I thought the law was unfair as he was only protecting his household (although to be honest I didn't know that the thief was trying to escape, so that does put a different slant on it- but if the thief still had your processions it would still be slightly unfair)
but all in all i think this new law is a good idea