Striking Fear into Burglars Is the Law's Job, Not Mine

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), December 12, 2004 | Go to article overview

Striking Fear into Burglars Is the Law's Job, Not Mine


Byline: PETER HITCHENS

OH, GREAT. Politicians have finally realised the people of Britain don't like being burgled.

Could this possibly be because there is a General Election coming?

Don't you believe them. As I discovered while researching my recent book on crime, neither the Tories nor Labour can be relied upon in this business.

Both are still hypnotised by the stupid, discredited idea that crime is a disease caused by poverty, rather than the free, unrestrained exercise of normal human wickedness.

Both helped cripple what used to be a fine police force with regulations which assume every constable is a racist, lying thug - and criminals are unfortunate individuals who mainly need to be understood.

Anthony Blair now claims to be interested in changing the laws governing what you can do if you find a burglar in your house. If you believe that, you will believe anything.

As for the Tories, they had 18 years to put this right. And they were the ones who destroyed the police with their appalling Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984, reason enough for them never to be allowed to govern again.

Look carefully at the new wording they propose for the law on bashing burglars. You are to be allowed to do anything, provided it is not 'grossly disproportionate'.

Well, call me old-fashioned if you like. But to my mind, if a burglar attacks an old lady in her home, and she summons neighbours to save her, it would not be 'grossly disproportionate' if they then beat him to death, cut him into quarters, boiled the parts in pitch and displayed them, and his severed head, on spikes in the garden as a warning to others.

But I don't see courts taking this view. Indeed, the Lord Chief Injustice, Lord Woolf, is apparently against sending burglars to prison.

And that is the real problem.

I don't specially want the right to kill intruders, or even bash them. I don't want to keep a gun in my home. I wish never to meet a burglar in my life.

The responsibility of defending my home with force is too heavy even if it is lawful.

All I want is for a would-be burglar to be so terrified by the majesty of the law that he dare not break into our homes.

I want, as everyone but a few who are too rich and safe care wants, a law that hates crime and punishes criminals.

I want a police force that present on the streets and frightens criminals.

I want judges who make criminals tremble and prisons where criminals hate to be and which they do not wish to return.

THE act of breaking into someone else's home a deed of such disgusting arrogance, cruelty and vileness that those who do it should suffer greatly at the hands of the law. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Striking Fear into Burglars Is the Law's Job, Not Mine
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.