This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. All the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oh let's legislate the pain away...

Thank goodness for someone talking sense in government at last. I was starting to worry that we'd have NO new legislation at all under Brown, but I am pleased to see that new laws about self-defence are imminent.

Well, to be more accurate, Jack Straw is "looking into it". The proposal seems to be that instead of the force used to protect yourself or your home being REASONABLE, it should be PROPORTIONATE. See what he did there?

Call me controversial, but I have this crazy theory that the law in this country is actually not too badly written, if a bit long-winded (I'm discounting the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act from this thesis). Traditionally the law just states the basic offences and there is then a slew of codes such as Sentencing Guidelines and Codes which criminal justice agencies can refer to before enforcing laws.

It would be fairly simple, therefore, for the government to tweak Sentencing Guidelines or send out advice to Crown Prosecution Services and police that they want more emphasis to be put on victims and to allow more leeway in prosecuting people who have tried to detain criminals or defend themselves.

But Labour didn't get to be Labour by taking the easy way out. And so a Review of a perfectly sound law in the hope that an even better one can be brought in. I suggest they make a list of weapons and injuries that are acceptable under the new self-defence laws, that way police won't have to apply any discretion (gasp, horror) whatsoever in deciding whether or not to charge.

Roll on, Election.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Anonymous Vic said...

Labour's new motto.

If it ain't broke, fix it.

27 September, 2007 19:46

Anonymous us detective sergeant said...

Over the last two years almost all of the State Legislatures have passed "no requirement to retreat" provisions to the self protection and reasonable force laws.

Saying in effect a person being threatned with injury or being assaulted DOES NOT have any requirement to retreat or warn the perpetrator to stop or face the consequences.

These are follow-up laws to enhance the laws protecting citizens that are licensed to carry concealed firearms.

The message to the bad guy is...attack a citizen and you may be facing a citizen that is armed and is not required to give any quarter. That provision extends outside the citizen's residence, personal vehicle and even on a public street. It is the ultimate stand your ground and defend yourself, family and property by any means standard. It removes the flight from the fight or flight law. Actually much more freedom to use deadly force than a police officer.

So it is across the pond.

27 September, 2007 19:56

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I have a simplistic approach to this issue...if I come down at 3am and he's in my front room, then he's mine...I have a wife and kids upstairs to think of, and can't afford to take the risk of being more measured or proportionate.

I've already been the victim of one violent nocturnal crime and dont intend to be caught out again... sorry Bloggs but in these cases the police, through no fault of theirs, aren't able to protect me or mine, so I must do it myself.

27 September, 2007 20:01

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, as a Brit, I was criticized for by my local police for not flooring a nutter for long enough 'till they arrived. Bugger kept getting up. Accused my of not doing enough to protect me and mine.

Decided I was in the wrong job - Pastor. It's not just Mops and Coppers and Vics who have to arm wrestle y'know. :(


27 September, 2007 21:25

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry Bogsy, excuse my bad grandma - just rattled that in.


27 September, 2007 21:29

Blogger Chieftain of Seir said...

Since I am your typical ignorant American male, I had trouble understanding this….

In Italy, the land of fashion and elegance, it's only natural that public officials want to look good too. And so the Italian police ordered high heeled-shoes for its 14,750 female police officers, who wanted to give their uniform a younger and sexier look.

Do they honestly expect woman in Italy to do police work in high heels? Or am I missing something here?

Sorry for being off topic, but I just did not know were else to turn for expert commentary on the subject.

27 September, 2007 22:37

Blogger Mosher said...

Anon (the first one) pretty much beat me to what I had to say. If I find someone in my house at 3am then I reckon I'm within my rights to club the bastard over the back of the head before he knows I'm there.

Past experience tells me I'm not a fighter. The current law says, effectively, that I have to walk up behind him and cough politely. This gives him all the time in the world to turn around and slash at me with a screwdriver, Stanley knife or whatever.

At *that* point, I am allowed to defend myself.

Screw that. He's on my property, and in my view he left all of his rights outside the window. He's mine. After all, if he's a proper burglar, who's going to know where he is? I know where he'll end up and it it's not necessarily as big a box as a jail cell. I'm thinking something a bit more wooden and more tightly fitting.

27 September, 2007 23:18

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

A prize for the first person to find a picture of the Italian shoes!

PS I hope you all noted I am now an "expert" on International Women Police. And quite right too.

27 September, 2007 23:19

Anonymous Joe.P said...

Please no photos. I want to just imagine that high heel stepping out of one of those police Lamborghinis. To educate me about my progressive driving.


28 September, 2007 00:24

Anonymous us detective sergeant said...

Last time I was in Italy the male cops were already wearing high heels with their capes....

Just giving female officers equal rights. About time!

28 September, 2007 03:17

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prison is an occupational hazard for burglars. I really don't see why sudden death courtesy of a housholder should be another.

28 September, 2007 12:00

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That should of course read
"why sudden death courtesy of a housholder shouldn't be another."

28 September, 2007 12:01

Anonymous Phil Bowles said...

Dear Blogger,

I think the law is INCREDIBLY badly written...the following may help me prove it:

I am an ex Met officer, now in my 3rd year of a full-time law degree. I have a research project underway and I really need the views of serving officers on one specific question (regarding s139 CJA 1988). I have created a small and very basic website which poses the question and allows officers to vote yes/no to the answer.

The site is (no’www’ – that’s important)

I’d be hugely grateful if you could pop a link to it on yr blog. For statistical purposes, the more replies I get, the better!


Phil Bowles

28 September, 2007 13:09

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a serving policeman I have the strong view that any "potential" victim of physical assault or worse should be free to use all in their armoury to defend themselves. That said, no doubt someone will come up with a scenario to make that statement look over the top and far too serious for our mollycoddled crims. All I am saying is that common sense should be applied in all cases. I remember a case not too long back when one of our local housebreakers (burglars to you in England and Wales) sneaked in (as they do, slippery little snakes) to a house to look for some goodies. He disturbed the four men sleeping in the house that night. His partner in crime turned and fled across the fields only later to be bitten on the r's by a police dog/shark and the one in the house got tied up and given a damn good thrashing. Then they called the fuzz! Summary justice? Maybe but he didn't break into any more houses. He succeeded on robbing us blind from then by sitting on his r's and collecting all the dole money I pay in taxes. Ho hum - but at least no more victims!

28 September, 2007 16:10

Blogger alanorei said...

PC Bloggs said:

Roll on, election.

I hope that you have a strong independent candidate in your constituency, or the equivalent.

The three main parties have rightly been described as a three-headed hydra.

Common sense has been mentioned. I was once informed that sense is not common. I believe that there is a lot of evidence in support of that view.

I have a vintage anecdote about self protection and resonable force (also one about our lad's recent encounter with The Bill, the ITV one, that is.)

The posts may be viewed here.

28 September, 2007 19:45

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want to know why the actions of your seniors appear to be the actions of cretins?

Look and learn

28 September, 2007 21:35

Blogger alanorei said...

Many thanks.

It is well worth watching.

28 September, 2007 22:13

Anonymous Tom Reynolds said...

And there was me thinking that it was only the tabloids who didn't have a clue how the law with respect to self defense worked.

Oh well.

29 September, 2007 05:08

Anonymous Tom Reynolds said...

...Which means ultimately that if someone breaks into my house I shall stab them with one of the very stabby implements that I have in my flat.

In complete fear of my life.

Then I'll be very sorry about using my knowledge of anatomy to kill someone.

Oh well.

Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six...

29 September, 2007 05:12

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Several years ago a friend of mine suffered several burglaries over a period of six months (the offenders were identified but have not been prosecuted due to lack of evidence. Disheartened at the lack of official justice, he brought back some posters from New York which he fixed to the front and back gates of his property. These notices read "IT WILL BE ASSUMED THAT ANYONE ENTERING THESE PREMISES AS A TRESPASSER IS VOLUNTARILY SURRENDERING HIS CIVIL RIGHTS". The local beat officer persuraded him to remove the wording at the bottom of the notice which read "THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS HOUSE WORTH DYING FOR". In the past 18 months he has not been burgled, though other nearby houses have.

29 September, 2007 23:26

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