The Metropolitan [London] Police have issued guidelines to UK residents regarding the use of “reasonable force” against rioters, looters and other ruffians. And here they are: “Anyone can use reasonable force to protect themselves or others, or to carry out an arrest or to prevent crime. You are not expected to make fine judgements over the level of force you use in the heat of the moment. So long as you only do what you honestly and instinctively believe is necessary in the heat of the moment that would be the strongest evidence of you acting lawfully and in self-defence . . .
This is still the case if you use something to hand as a weapon. As a general rule, the more extreme the circumstances and the fear felt, the more force you can lawfully use in self-defence. If you are in your own home or business and in fear for yourself or others, you do not have to wait to be attacked before using reasonable force for protection.
Just don’t use a gun. Which would be, if you think about it, a really effective way to stop rioters. A point that seems to have evaded Matt Gurney of Canada’s nationalpost.com. According to Matt, this is how we do it:
One of the more interesting stories that came out of the recent chaos across the pond was the tale of a posh restaurant’s wait staff arming themselves with makeshift weapons and protecting their customers. Diners at The Ledbury had their meal interrupted when a group of rioters smashed their way in, armed with bats and assorted weapons. They ordered the patrons onto the floor and demanded their wallets, cellphones and wedding rings.
That’s when the restaurant’s staff began their counter-attack. Equipped with rolling pins and frying pans, they challenged the rioters, who quickly fled. The waiters then went on to really earn their tips — they broke out the champagne and whiskey to help calm the nerves of their rattled guests, and had them take cover in the wine cellar when the mob again came close to the establishment.
The response of The Ledbury’s staff was heroic, and appropriate. Rioters are cowardly, and rely on superior numbers and intimidate to bully their victims into submission. When presented with an actual challenge — imagine that, someone standing up to us! — they retreated.
No doubt millions of Britons have spent the last week fantasizing about their chance to get a little justice in on the thugs defiling their country. And according to Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan Police force for Greater London, doing so, in certain circumstances, is entirely within the law.
Uh no, Matt. Read the Met’s advice carefully. The Old Bill isn’t suggesting that the average Brit “get their own back” on rioters. They’re telling them they have the right to use force to defend themselves.
Of course, the Met’s just blowing smoke, overwhelmed as they were/are by the scale and scope of the rioting. There are plenty of cases where UK residents were prosecuted for doing exactly what the Met is authorizing. But revenge is not in play here. Except in Matt’s mind.
Meanwhile, the British Nanny state has responded to the rioting as we predicted: consolidating their power. British PM Cameron reckons Her Majesty’s government reserves the right to pull the plug on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, not to mention blacking-out Blackberrys, if they deem it in the best interests of public safety. CNN:
British Prime Minister David Cameron thinks he’s found some culprits to blame in the recent riots that have rocked London and other cities — Facebook and Twitter.
Saying the “free flow of information” can sometimes be a problem, Cameron’s government has summoned those two social-networking sites, as well as Research In Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, for a meeting to discuss their roles during the violent outbreaks.
And people think gun rights advocates are scary people?