“When a burglar invades your home they give up their rights”

After recently reading an article in The Telegraph which can be found here:

It raised the question, “Is it ever okay to harm, or kill someone?”

The ethics in this case appear to be situational, for example, if you are at risk, then yes, however if it is simply for the sake of harming another this is not ethically acceptable.

David Cameron UK Prime Minister is currently trying to provide householders who are confronted with force with more legal protection. The current law states that anyone in England and Wales can use “reasonable force” to protect themselves or others. Householders are protected from prosecution as long as they act “honestly and instinctively.”

After stating that he had been burgled many times, it is clear that Cameron is taking a stand on the matter stating that:

 “When a burglar invades your home they give up their rights.”

An issue is rarely straight forward, which is the case for this one in particular. By changing the amount of force the law allows, there may be repercussions. It is argued that providing people with more rights to fight back may have the opposite effect than intended in which people may take advantage of their new found lenience. For example, knowing that they are more protected in terms of using self-defence, people may use this inappropriately as they feel they would then be held unaccountable for their actions and can claim their actions were defensive when in reality they were not.

However, the possible change in law does state that it is okay to fight back as long as it is not with “grossly disproportionate force.” I feel that this statement provides boundaries for this potential issue as it proves that there will still be consequences if things were to go beyond self-defence.

To further complicate things, if the change were to take place, it is a possibility that it may increase violence on both sides of the spectrum.

Does this mean burglars will come more prepared with weapons knowing that householders may be more likely to fight back?

Will this lead to more victims being killed trying to oppose the burglars?

It is a difficult issue as it may ultimately encourage people to fight back which may be harmful or fatal. However, I feel that the change in law is more about educating people about their rights, dispelling any doubts about what they are able to do to protect themselves and what they are not.

Do you think Cameron is acting as the householders Superman, or is this the start of a more violent culture?

Written by Amy Lee.


Fess up BBC!

With the Chairman of the BBC Trust Lord Patten questioning the corporation that he represents, is there any wonder that the public now turn their attention to the BBC and the role they played whilst Jimmy Savile was suggested to have been sexually abusing young girls.

Savile: Posing for the Top of the Pops

It is not only the BBC who have eyes on them to come up with reasons why; Police, and councils are also in the hot seat as to why nothing was done to address the seemingly obvious issues at hand when they first arose.

Since the Savile news broke, it appears that new evidence has surfaced week after week. Have a look at the shocking footage below of Savile hosting a live episode of ‘Top of the Pops’ for the BBC back in 1976.

The footage shows Savile addressing the camera whilst smiling surrounded by an all girl audience, looking to the female to the left of him on screen it is questionable as to what is happening right in front of the camera.

It’s very possible that the BBC may have been quite aware of what Savile was doing, not only in this isolated incident but others too. The question remains as IF the BBC did know of what was happening then WHY did they do nothing about the issue? Celebrity status has been the main issue identified for how he could have got away with the abuse for so long. Did celebrity status mean that Savile was more trustworthy than others? Trustworthy enough to be given the keys to the Nurses Accommodation back in the late 1980’s where he was provided with the keys upon asking for late night visits due to his fundraising work. The obvious answer to this question is presumably the answer to most of life’s dire questions and that is: money and status. Is it ethical?……..Not really.

Savile, before the recent news of his alleged wrong-doings was perhaps seen as a national treasure; more memorably known for his show ‘Jim’ll fix it’ Savile was a major player on the BBC screens; perhaps the BBC had too much at stake or was trying to cover up a much sinister secret altogether?

As mentioned above, police and a council are also being asked questions. When Savile’s own memoir’s ‘As it Happens’ 1974 he claims that he made demands for the council to provide him with 6 girls and a tent as ‘payment’ to take part in a charity event. Savile described the girls as “good enough to eat” and he had an “incredible evening”.

So with so much of Savile’s dirty laundry now being aired in public for all to see, can we truly believe that no-one knew? Did money buy the right people’s silence? Was it simply a mistake that the police file for the investigation placed before his death  had gone ‘missing’ or is it a case of being above the law?

 Written by Stephanie Birch