Conservative party pledges to review rights of householders
时间：2019-10-08 责任编辑：臧拐 来源：银河娱乐网投官网 点击：213 次
A Conservative government would consider strengthening the rights of householders who tackle burglars on their property, the shadow home secretary, , said today.
The move could potentially outflank ministers and who believe current legislation allowing homeowners to use "reasonable" force to be sufficient.
The Tories want to review the balance of rights between an intruder and a property owner as public opinion hardens against the law. Last week Munir Hussain was jailed for using a cricket bat to beat a knife-wielding man who threatened and tied up his family in their home.
Grayling said only householders who use "grossly disproportionate" force should be punished.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, which is campaigning for a change in the law, he announced his intention to review the law if the Tories form the next government. He wrote: "Conservatives argue that the defence that the law offers a householder should be much clearer, and that prosecutions and convictions should only happen in cases where courts judge the actions involved to be grossly disproportionate."
Grayling today told the Guardian he was not wedded to the law's language being changed to "grossly disproportionate" and suggested there could be alternative ways to amend the legislation.
The issue is an emotive one with reports of 20 cases over the last decade in which householders may have been imprisoned for defending their home. Despite an attempt by Labour to rebalance the criminal justice system in favour of the victims of crime and end a culture of light punishment – a shift unpopular with the party's left and liberal wings – the government has in recent years been reluctant to change legislation. Jack Straw, the justice secretary, said after a review last year that people defending their family and property "instinctively" should not be punished, a position that was criticised for barely changing the existing legal position.
Today the were reluctant to tie their move on intruders to the Hussain case. The party said it did not want to speak out about the case for fear of prejudicing Hussain's appeal, but observers suggested the particular case, in which Hussain and his brother chased intruders and beat one so badly he was left brain damaged, did not illustrate accurately the imbalanced system the Tories want to change.
Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme, Alan Johnson, the home secretary, said it was "impossible not to feel uncomfortable about [Hussain's] case" and his imprisonment but said the judge had an "awful lot of discretion".
He added: "There was nothing in this case that constricted or restricted the judge. He did have discretion to come down in favour of the householder."
But he said it would be "natural" to look at the law again and ensure it was absolutely clear that defending the householder was the "predominant concern".
David Blunkett, the former home secretary, said today he was sympathetic to attempts to give householders more legal protection. "I have long been in favour of allowing self-defence as a legitimate protection against prosecution," he said.
"I was the first to suggest that there should be no compensation for those engaged in criminal activity, including intrusion into and theft from the homes of innocent men and women."
However, the former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy said the law did not need to be changed. "There is sufficient discretion in the existing legislation for the courts to judge each case on its individual circumstances," he said.