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UK Labour toughens up after Minister becomes crime victim

  • July 17th, 2008

The UK Justice Secretary [Minister] Jack Straw has been highlighting a Labour law change that came into effect on Monday. As reported in the Telegraph it will allow homeowners –

"to use force against criminals who break into their homes or attack them in the street without worrying that "heat of the moment” misjudgements could see them brought before the courts.

For example, homeowners would be able stab or shoot a burglar if confronted or tackle them and use force to detain them until police arrive. Muggers could be legally punched and beaten in the street or have their own weapons used against them."

The commentary and explanations suggest to me that the change could be more cosmetic than real, as far as the words go – but in terms of the message sent to the Police I think it will be significant.

Way down the story the punch line is buried –

"He [Jack Straw] is understood to have decided new laws were necessary after he was involved in four "have-a go’’ incidents, which included chasing and restraining muggers near his south London home. "

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