After the riots last year, I wrote to the Home Secretary asking what would be a reasonable use of force by a property owner in defence of their own or their neighbours’ property and what constitutes reasonable force by the police in the prevention of crime, both in the circumstances of a riot?
I said “I hope in Parliament we established that the state’s duty is to protect the law-abiding and their property first and foremost, and that the police do not require the consent of rioters before acting with reasonable force”.
Even MPs can be kept waiting for months for a reply from officialdom. I finally received an answer from the interestingly-titled Crime Director at the Home Office. He said that, at the Government’s request, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary had conducted a review of police public order tactics and training, which the Government is now considering.
He also said that a review had taken place and the Government was satisfied that the law on self-defence was more-or-less in the right place. Provided “the homeowner uses force that was reasonable force in the circumstances, and that they believe was reasonable force, they should not be convicted”.
In October last year the Ministry of Justice announced it would be clarifying “what reasonable force means in practice.” I look forward to that.