Delyn MP David Hanson has backed reforms aimed at giving more support to people who step in to tackle criminals
The reforms are intended to give the public confidence that the law is on their side if they act reasonably in using force, including the fact that;
- they acted instinctively;
- they feared for their safety or that of others, and acted based on their perception of the threat faced and the scale of that threat;
- the level of force used was not excessive or disproportionate in the circumstances as they viewed them.
The law clarifies the existing common law defences and the statutory provisions under the Criminal Law Act 1967.
It will enhance the understanding of when force is ‘reasonable’ as applied in a range of different circumstances, including the householder defending their home and the passer-by intervening in a criminal incident in the street.
David Hanson said:
“These measures will give the public confidence if they are put in the position where they decide to act as good citizens and step in to tackle a criminal. They are good news for the law-abiding people of Flintshire and demonstrate that the law is on the side of the law-abiding majority.
“The move is part of the Criminal Justice and Immigration bill. It will clarify and reinforce the law of self defence, making clear the state’s responsibility to stand by those acting in good faith when using force in self defence.
“Law abiding citizens should not be put off tackling criminals by fear of excessive investigation. The law should be seen as supporting them right from the start.
“In the case of a passer-by witnessing a crime in the street for example, or a householder faced with a burglar in his home, we are reassuring them that if they intervene and necessarily use force which is not excessive or disproportionate, the law really is behind them.”
“It is important that the public and officials on the frontline dealing with self defence incidents understand how the current law should work in practice – this amendment builds on a strong body of case law to strengthen and broaden this understanding.”