» Monday, December 6, 2004

Burglary/Home Intruders

Asked if the Government intended to obstruct the Private Members Bill to allow householders to use all necessary means the PMOS said, as he had said in the morning, people should first of all recognise that the law already allowed the defence of "reasonable force" to be used. However what it did not allow was an "active retaliation". However if there was confusion about that it was obviously an issue that did need to be clarified. There was already a murder review being conducted in the Home Office and no doubt this was an issue that would be considered as part of it. As Lord Falconer had indicated this morning he believed we were talking about an issue of clarification for this process. The Government’s attitude would be dictated by what it believed was a genuine area for concern but as he had said the law already clearly allowed a defence by reasonable force. If that was not clear to people then that was an issue to address.

Asked to clarify his morning remarks when he seemed to say it was not clear in the public’s mind whereas now his remarks this afternoon seemed more consistent with the perspective of Sir John Steven’s remarks that seemed to say it was not clear in the law the PMOS said that in terms of what we were indicating it was that we accepted that there was an issue of clarification and that would be considered as part of the murder review. Asked if the Prime Minister acknowledged that even in cases that were not brought ultimately before the courts the indignity and worry of a police investigation in addition to being a victim of crime was something that people found very upsetting the PMOS said that without getting into individual cases what the Government accepted was that there was an issue of concern that needed to be addressed, but equally that should not be taken as there was no defence in the law as it stood. There was.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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