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Returning Safety And Security To The Home

Returning Safety And Security To The Home

Monday 1 Nov 2004 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today launched his draft Crimes (Self-Defence) Amendment Bill, to restore clear rights of self-defence to people living in rural areas of New Zealand.

"My Bill aims to restore defences lost in changes to the Crimes Act in 1980, and primarily focuses on those who live far from prompt police aid," Mr Franks said.

"18^th Century jurist William Blackstone wrote that self-defence is a:

`natural right that no government can deprive people of, since no government can protect the individual in his moment of need'.

"Labour insists on having a monopoly on the use of force, but can only impose it upon law-abiding people. By practically eliminating self-defence, it has removed the greatest deterrent to crime: a people able to defend themselves.

"Thugs and thieves threaten everyone living away from swift police response, and their rural victims are left helpless because their rights of self-defence have become obscure and risky.

"While commonsense juries generally acquit victims prosecuted after defending themselves and their property, most are never compensated for what they have lost - and others are driven to bankruptcy.

"If my Bill is passed into law, people will no longer need to feel that the law wants them to be helpless in their homes. Most importantly, it will realign with people's commonsense assumptions about their rights to defend themselves and their property.

"The law must ensure that thieves can no longer humiliate hard-working people far from prompt police help.

"I want this issue to be on every Party's manifesto this coming election. This Bill can be a benchmark when people seek solutions. We have to reverse the trend toward a cringing culture of fear and threat in our countryside. My Bill is a step toward that," Mr Franks said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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