The Justice Secretary has announced that householders would have greater protection from burglars.
New measures will mean someone who is confronted by a burglar and has reason to fear for their safety, or the safety of their family, and in the heat of the moment uses force that is reasonable in the circumstances but in the cold light of day seems disproportionate they will not be guilty of an offence. Force which is ‘grossly’ disproportionate will still not be permitted.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said:
‘Being confronted by an intruder in your own home is terrifying, and the public should be in no doubt that the law is on their side. That is why I am strengthening the current law.
‘Householders who act instinctively and honestly in self defence are victims of crime and should be treated that way.
‘We need to dispel doubts in this area once and for all.’
The current law states that householders can use force that is reasonable in the circumstances as they believed them to be to defend themselves or their property, but states that the use of disproportionate force will never be reasonable in the circumstances.