Defending Your Home – use of force

home defenceI recently heard a listener ask a question on Jack Spirko’s podcast about self defence in the home.

The following is extracted from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)

Householders and the use of force against intruders

What is the purpose of this statement?

It is a rare and frightening prospect to be confronted by an intruder in your own home. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Chief Constables are responding to public concern over the support offered by the law and confusion about householders defending themselves. We want a criminal justice system that reaches fair decisions, has the confidence of law-abiding citizens and encourages them actively to support the police and prosecutors in the fight against crime.

Wherever possible you should call the police. The following summarises the position when you are faced with an intruder in your home, and provides a brief overview of how the police and CPS will deal with any such events.

Does the law protect me? What is ‘reasonable force’?

Anyone can use reasonable force to protect themselves or others, or to carry out an arrest or to prevent crime. You are not expected to make fine judgements over the level of force you use in the heat of the moment. So long as you only do what you honestly and instinctively believe is necessary in the heat of the moment, that would be the strongest evidence of you acting lawfully and in self-defence. This is still the case if you use something to hand as a weapon.

As a general rule, the more extreme the circumstances and the fear felt, the more force you can lawfully use in self-defence.
What amounts to disproportionate force? I’ve heard I can use that.

The force you use must always be reasonable in the circumstances as you believe them to be. Where you are defending yourself or others from intruders in your home, it might still be reasonable in the circumstances for you to use a degree of force that is subsequently considered to be disproportionate, perhaps if you are acting in extreme circumstances in the heat of the moment and don’t have a chance to think about exactly how much force would be necessary to repel the intruder: it might seem reasonable to you at the time but, with hindsight, your actions may seem disproportionate. The law will give you the benefit of the doubt in these circumstances.

This only applies if you were acting in self-defence or to protect others in your home and the force you used was disproportionate – disproportionate force to protect property is still unlawful.

I’ve heard that I can’t use grossly disproportionate force. What does that mean?

If your action was ‘over the top’ or a calculated action of revenge or retribution, for example, this might amount to grossly disproportionate force for which the law does not protect you. If, for example, you had knocked an intruder unconscious and then went on to kick and punch them repeatedly, such an action would be more likely to be considered grossly disproportionate.

Do I have to wait to be attacked?

No, not if you are in your own home and in fear for yourself or others. In those circumstances the law does not require you to wait to be attacked before using defensive force yourself.

What if the intruder dies?

If you have acted in reasonable self-defence, as described above, and the intruder dies you will still have acted lawfully. Indeed, there are several such cases where the householder has not been prosecuted. However, if, for example:

  • having knocked someone unconscious, you then decided to further hurt or kill them to punish them; or
  • you knew of an intended intruder and set a trap to hurt or to kill them rather than involve the police,

you would be acting with very excessive and gratuitous force and could be prosecuted.

What if I chase them as they run off?

This situation is different as you are no longer acting in self-defence and so the same degree of force may not be reasonable. However, you are still allowed to use reasonable force to recover your property and make a citizen’s arrest. You should consider your own safety and, for example, whether the police have been called. A rugby tackle or a single blow would probably be reasonable. Acting out of malice and revenge with the intent of inflicting punishment through injury or death would not.

Will you believe the intruder rather than me?

The police weigh all the facts when investigating an incident. This includes the fact that the intruder caused the situation to arise in the first place. We hope that everyone understands that the police have a duty to investigate incidents involving a death or injury. Things are not always as they seem. On occasions people pretend a burglary has taken place to cover up other crimes such as a fight between drug dealers.

How would the police and CPS handle the investigation and treat me?

In considering these cases Chief Constables and the Director of Public Prosecutions (Head of the CPS) are determined that they must be investigated and reviewed as swiftly and as sympathetically as possible. In some cases, for instance where the facts are very clear, or where less serious injuries are involved, the investigation will be concluded very quickly, without any need for arrest. In more complicated cases, such as where a death or serious injury occurs, more detailed enquiries will be necessary. The police may need to conduct a forensic examination and/or obtain your account of events.

To ensure such cases are dealt with as swiftly and sympathetically as possible, the police and CPS will take special measures namely:

An experienced investigator will oversee the case; and
If it goes as far as CPS considering the evidence, the case will be prioritised to ensure a senior lawyer makes a quick decision.

It is a fact that very few householders have ever been prosecuted for actions resulting from the use of force against intruders.

For more information browse the CPS website in the link at the top of the page.

Illegal Speed Bumps – UK Rant!

This has been a beef of mine for many years. As someone who travels a great deal for a living (40k+ miles per year) I see many frustrations with the road network, operations, and people that use them, speed bumps are one of those things that I just don’t agree with in their current format.

30 mph sign

As an advanced driver, I don’t entirely agree with speed limits, in my view if everyone drove to the same set of guidelines the system would work just fine with only advisory speed limits indicated for sections of road that really needed them, like sharp bends, and even then the standard indications (signs, road markings, hedgerows, tree lines and now SatNav) provide enough information to the observant driver.

parked cars

So the laws and limits enforced are as always there for those that don’t pay attention or are intent on breaking the rules anyway, but as usual everyone has to suffer.

Speed bumps in my opinion should at least allow you to travel over them without incurring potential damage to you vehicle at the limit of the road. So in a 30 MPH area you should be able to drive over at 25 to 30MPH without feeling that you’ve just ripped out the suspension!

Short rant – but I did find a link to others that have carried on the fight further – http://www.bromleytransport.org.uk/Legal_basis_of_traffic_calming.htm

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london-speed-humps-so-large-they-break-law-6929319.html

and the general ‘law’

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/1025/pdfs/uksi_19991025_en.pdf

 

 

Left or Right? Right or Wrong?

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I have always been one of those that when surveyed with a question that was seeking one of two answers, always struggled to find an answer that 100% suited my outlook or opinion. In my younger days I was led to believe that I was ‘middle of the road’ or ‘on the fence’ basically indecisive, but for me, my answer required more information or could be both options combined, but more often enough posed a further question back or a, ‘it depends’.

It took me a long time to realise that my analysis was perfectly normal and actually a far better, but did not fit with what the government / schooling required.

The problem lies with this indoctrination at early age, to condition you to the dichotomy of right or wrong, black or white options.

If you haven’t already, then free your mind from the cognitive conditioning, stop wasting energy and precious time over things that are not in your circle of influence and focus on those things within your grasp.

 

A Question of Liberty -what is freedom?

Nelson-Mandela-Quotes-For-to-be-free-is-not-merely-to-cast-off-ones-chains-but-to-live-in-a-way-that-respects-and-enhances-the-freedom-of-others

Question the concept of freedom and you are likely to get many different responses, each response will depend upon the current perceived level of freedom of the person questioned.!

All responses should include, the ability to do anything that you want to, so long your actions don’t harm, takeaway or damage others property or impede their ability to pursue the freedom and liberty that they seek.

So how free are we? What stops you from doing what you want to within the statement above? The answer? Nothing does, unless it’s against the law.

Think about the very simple laws that exist? Take the seat belt law for example, it’s against the law to drive your car without a seat belt, also passengers must wear them if travelling in the vehicle.

Don’t get me wrong, I wear a seatbelt every time I drive, I believe that it will help to save my life, do I need a law to tell me this? No, of cause not! If I didn’t wear a seat belt would I do harm to others, takeaway or damage their property? No!

You could argue that if a passenger didn’t wear a seatbelt then they have chance of injuring someone else in the vehicle should they crash. Then in that scenario, with or without law, if the person refused the to wear the seatbelt and the driver / other passengers  insisted, then the person has a choice, wear it or find another way to travel.

So why do we have a law for this? laws are created for control of the people, they are generally created to for the minority of stupid people, but of cause affect everyone. Every additional law created restricts your freedom in some way whether you believe it at this point in time, but they are sold to you as protection, for your own good, and for that reason we accept them.

So what happens if you forget to wear your seatbelt and get caught? You may receive a fine?

What if you refuse to pay the fine? Then you may land yourself in court with a even bigger fine.

Refuse to pay that? Then you may go to jail!

Just to reiterate, for not wearing your seatbelt, could land you in Jail! This could then affect and restrict your whole future! All for a law that shouldn’t exist and hurts no one else if its not carried out.

Now, think of all of the other laws that are created to “protect” you, and ask if they weren’t there what would happen?

New laws are created all of the time, Every time one is passed, your liberties are eroded.

Ask yourself again”how free are we?”

A Question of Liberty-Freedom is not a measure of another persons servitude

As a young child at school back in the early 70’s, many playground arguments ended with ‘I can say what I want, it’s a free country’. I’m pretty sure that at that time and at that age the true meaning of those words were not really understood, but what was understood even back then is that in our country (UK), we felt relatively safe and free to do what we wanted, after all, the TV and news showed us places where people weren’t so free and didn’t have everything that we had, so we had to be free, right?

At school we raised money to send to Ethiopia as the people there were starving, images of children with bloated stomachs, starved dead men and women laying on the floor, posted everywhere leaving lasting memories. Poster_2_tcm15-21428Christian Aid envelopes sent home with schoolchildren to ask parents to donate to the cause.  Media continued to tell us of severe famines in Pakistan, Sudan and Ethiopia, and that public support for aid was required.

Christian Aid history speaks about how they discovered in the 1970’s that emergency relief wasn’t enough and that the starving people needed genuine solutions, not hand-outs. They recognised that the poverty and famine was not just an act of nature, but political and economic decisions. So alongside traditional relief and development, they started to consider how to work for people’s rights. They go on to talk about how they worked in the world’s hotspots: in Vietnam and Laos, destroyed by war; in Uganda after the overthrow of Idi Amin; in Nicaragua after the toppling of the dictator Somoza; and in Kampuchea (present-day Cambodia) after the fall of Pol Pot.

Funny but I don’t remember any of that being really big in the news at the time?

In 1988 The New York Times reported on the worlds up rooted millions .

  • AFRICA ALGERIA (167,000) from W. Sahara 165,000; others 2,000
  • ANGOLA (92,000) from Namibia 70,000; Zaire 13,000; S. Africa 9,000
  • BURUNDI (76,000) from Rwanda 65,800; Zaire 9,600; Uganda 400; others 200
  • ETHIOPIA (625,000) from Sudan 350,000; Somalia 225,000
  • MALAWI (600,000) from  Mozambique
  • SOMALIA (430,000)from Ethiopia
  • SOUTH AFRICA (250,000) from Mozambique
  • SUDAN (817,000) from Ethiopia 677,000; Uganda 90,000; Chad 45,000; Zaire 5,000
  • SWAZILAND (67,000) from Mozambique 60,000; S. Africa 7,000
  • TANZANIA (266,000) from  Burundi 160,000; Mozambique 72,000; Zaire 16,000; S. Africa 6,000; others 12,000
  • UGANDA (120,400) Rwanda 118,000; Zaire 1,400; Sudan 1,000
  • ZAIRE (338,000) from Angola 310,000; Rwanda 11,000; Burundi 10,000; Uganda 2,000; others 5,000
  • ZAMBIA (151,000) from Angola 94,000; Mozambique 35,000; Zaire 9,500; Namibia 7,500; S. Africa 3,000; others 2,500
  • ZIMBABWE (166,750) from Mozambique 166,250; S. Africa 500
  • MIDDLE EAST AND SOUTH ASIA INDIA (281,000) from Sri Lanka 125,000; China (Tibet) 100,000; Bangladesh 50,000; Afghanistan 5,600; Iran 1,100
  • IRAN (2,600,000) from Afghanistan 2,200,000; Iraq 400,000
  • IRAQ (75,000) Iran 75,000
  • JORDAN (852,750) from Palestine
  • LEBANON (287,420) from Palestine 281,520; others 5,900
  • PAKISTAN (3,545,400) from Afghanistan 3,541,400; Iran 4,000
  • SYRIA (259,850) from Palestine
  • WEST BANK (375,830) from Palestine
  • GAZA STRIP(447,850) from Palestine
  • EAST ASIA HONG KONG (20,000) from Vietnam
  • MALAYSIA  (105,220) from  Philippines 15,000; Vietnam 90,000
  • PHILIPPINES (11,950) from Vietnam 8,800; Laos 2,920; Cambodia 230
  • THAILAND (404,500) from Cambodia 293,210; Laos 75,580; Burma 20,000; Vietnam 15,710
  • CENTRAL AMERICA COSTA RICA (32,000) from Nicaragua 23,000; El Salvador 6,200; Cuba 2,500; others 300
  • HONDURAS (52,500) from Nicaragua 32,000; El Salvador 20,000; Guatemala 500
  • MEXICO (165,000) from El Salvador 120,000; Guatemala 45,000

Sound Familiar?

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Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Does all of this make us free? No, just because our cage is bigger, doesn’t mean that we’re free – hence “Freedom is not a measure of another persons servitude”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Liberty UK

Liberty UK is about defining what liberty is here in the UK, identifying where its being eroded and asking what we can do to try and increase or improve liberty.

Inspired by The Survival Podcast – much of what you read in the early life of this site is likely to be inspired from there, however as we grow and gain our own identity with our cultures and differences, so the site will come into its own