Posts Tagged ‘British self defence law’

A bit of sanity returned to Britain?

July 18, 2008

Just when I was sure that Britain was completely a lost cause, this article gives one hope.

HOME OWNERS and others acting in self-defence were yesterday given the legal right for the first time to fight back against burglars and muggers free from fear of prosecution.

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” misjudgments could land them in court.

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

Then there was this small concession earlier in the year for olympic class shooters.

The British government relaxed gun laws Tuesday to allow shooting teams to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics.

Britain banned handguns in 1997 after the massacre of 16 children and a teacher at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland. The law includes a ban on guns for licensed sports, preventing domestic pistol events.

But home secretary Jacqui Smith has invoked special exemptions in England and Wales. A similar exemption allowed pistols to come into Britain for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

“(Smith) has agreed to use her powers under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968 to allow a small squad of elite GB Olympic pistol shooters to train in this country ahead of the Olympics in 2012,” Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said in a written parliamentary answer. “Scottish ministers have agreed, in principle, to exercise their powers in a similar manner.”

Well I said it was small. Also only for ‘elite’ shooters. But what the heck, it’s something from a country that seems hell-bent on removing as many citizens rights as possible. It’s amazing how bringing the Olympics into the picture changes the mindset.

But then on a more cynical note, the self-defence provisions may be necessary if the Brit government were to follow through on the leaked report that police would be allowed as long as 3 hours to attend emergency situations and 3 days for other police action.

Guidelines ordering police to respond to emergency calls within three hours and to attend less urgent incidents such as burglaries within three days have been drawn up by the Home Office.

The astonishing proposals were designed as ‘national standards for local policing’ in England and Wales.

They laid down a three-hour target for officers to reach an incident which ‘requires policing intervention’.

And they allowed police to wait a leisurely three days where ‘there is less immediate need’ for their presence.

The leaked draft targets were to be included in the Government’s long-awaited Green Paper on police reform.

But after a barrage of criticism from the Opposition yesterday – which accused the Government of being out of touch with the public – Home Office officials insisted the targets will not appear in the final version of the paper when it is published tomorrow.

The “meet your attacker” plan also apparently drifted away into never-never land once it came in contact with the winds of public outrage,

The apparent disarray follows Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s startling U-turn over proposals to force knife-crime offenders to confront victims in hospitals. That plan was floated and ditched within 24 hours.

Someone somewhere must have written a book on just where Britain took a wrong turn. Can we blame their muddled thinking on breathing EU air?

Or – scary thought – is this the wave of the future?


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.