Ruffley calls for change of law to protect honest citizens not criminals

Tuesday, 14 December, 2004

David Ruffley MP this week added his support to the Conservative campaign for the law to be changed to tackle criminals who break into people's homes. David is calling for the rights of self-defence in the home to be strengthened, in the face of public concern about rising levels of violent burglary.

Conservative frontbencher, Patrick Mercer MP, is tabling a new law before Parliament- the Householder Protection Bill. This will tighten the law on self-defence within homes and commercial premises which are subject to criminal acts from trespassers. It will ensure people can use the necessary force required to defend themselves, their families and their property. David is adding his support to this new proposed new law.

David explained:

'People deserve to feel safe in their own homes. But under Tony Blair, rising levels of violent burglary and a 'rights culture' for criminals mean people no longer feel they can protect themselves, their families or their property. If a criminal breaks into your home and attacks you, you should be able to use the necessary force required for self-defence, without the threat of criminal prosecution. I am adding my name to the campaign for the law to be changed.

'But we need to go further to tackle burglary. Across the Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket area, only 1 in 4 burglars are ever brought to justice - burglary is now seen by criminals as 'risk free'. I want to see:

• An extra 40,000 police officers across England & Wales, with 379 allocated to Suffolk, as pledged by Conservatives.

• 25,000 new hard drug rehabilitation places to give young hard drug-users a clear choice: intensive, residential rehabilitation or face the penal system. Most burglary is driven by the need to fund drug use.

• The rejection of Liberal Democrat plans to let burglars escape jail, abolish mandatory life sentences for serial rapists and weaken the laws further on hard drugs.

'Under Tony Blair, crime is out of control and sentences are too lenient. It is time our society had more respect and discipline, and the law backed the honest citizen not the criminal.'