What happened to an Englishman's castle?
Robberies at gunpoint increased by 10 per cent last year in England and Wales, according to Home Office figures published yesterday.
The figures include armed robberies in the street, which rose by 9 per cent, and armed robberies in homes, which almost doubled. The figures, have been falling for the past four years and the sudden reversal will alarm the Home Office.
..killings by strangers have almost doubled to 302 since Labour came to power.
The total number of robberies at gunpoint rose to 1,439 and the number of gun robberies at residential properties jumped by 46 per cent to 645, an increase of 204 and more than five times the level recorded when Labour came to power.
Sleep well, don't forget to lock your door and if you hear suspicious noises remember that the police are only a call away. Where I live there is an 87% chance they will turn up within twenty minutes...
The police said that while householders could use "reasonable force" when confronted by a burglar, their advice was not to intervene.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said in a statement: "You can use force, but it has to be reasonable. Police are restrained by that as well.
Chief Supt Ian Johnston, vice-president of the Superintendents Association of England and Wales, said: "..Iif you are broken into - and I know most people will look at this and say 'It's very good for him to say that in the cold light of day' - really and truly, you should ring the police. You should not approach the intruder."
Senior officers readily concede that the public is sceptical about the speed of police responses and accept that their advice is of little comfort to residents - especially those in the countryside - who hear disturbing noises in their homes during the night.
However, police maintain that if householders make clear that an intruder is on the premises they will respond quickly.
Mr Johnston said: "People will also say - and I have some sympathy for their thoughts - 'What would he do at 2am or 3am when he hears noises downstairs?' I understand that, but we must give that very firm advice - do not approach the intruder."
He added that police were "definitely not" advising people to have weapons in their homes. "We would not tell the public to arm themselves with any weapon, legal or illegal. Burglars could be on drink or drugs and that's why we give the advice we do."
Mr Johnston said the legal situation in Britain was different from that in America. "If someone dared to enter someone's property in the States they would be within their constitutional rights to protect their property. And I dare say people in this country would say, 'What happened to an Englishman's castle?'