Don’t you just love the Tories? George Osborne had barely closed his mouth from announcing that the British government would be using the benefits system in the UK as a financial gun to force families to be smaller and to drive under-25s - whether they wanted to or not - back into the family nest, when Chris Grayling was on is hind legs to tell the conference that soon home-owners would be able to use disproportianate force without fear of prosecution, should they encounter a burglar in their home.
Don’t you just love it? This sets a political hare running in the opposite direction from the brutal benefits cutbacks.’ Take their minds off the cut-backs’ Grayling was instructed, and by God he did the job. His proposals did their best to stir into life the primitive beast that sleeps within us all - the one that wants to wreak havoc on people who dares mess with our property or goods.
If a fire had started in your home what would you do? You’d follow Fire Service recommendations, get out and stay out. Put as much distance between you and Mr Fire as you possibly could. Common sense tells you the same thing applies to burglars. As the police told me when a couple of years ago I heard an intruder downstairs and phoned them: ‘Do not go downstairs under any circumstances. The last thing you want to do is confront a burglar.’ I followed their instructions.
But now it seems we’re to be given encouragement. Don’t worry if you use ‘disproportionate force’ - you won’t be prosecuted. So now we have governmental encouragement to deal with intruders pretty much as we see fit.
The net effect of which will be one of two things. Either burglars will stop burgling because they’ll be frightened, or they’ll keep on burgling but will bring a knife or a gun in case they’re confronted by a have-a-go Charlie. Guess which of those two options is more likely?
We pay the police to tend to law-and-order; why then do the Tories want to change it so private citizens assume the job of putting manners on burglars? I’ll tell you why, shall I? Because secretly we’d all love to be the guy who does the Dirty Harry thing and scares the crap out of lawbreakers. Even more important, this move won’t cost government a thing.
On the other hand, it may cost the burglar or more likely the home-owner his life.