What Are The UK Self Defence Laws
What Is Self Defence?
The self defence laws in the UK are quite clear, and are essentially based on past common experiences.
The law itself is actually quite clearly good law, and in itself makes good sense, in that should you ever find yourself being involved in a situation where you are actually being physically attacked by another person, you will then have a perfect right to appropriately defend yourself.
As well as being able to defend yourself, It also makes perfectly good sense for you to be able to defend yourself within reason, and defend by only doing what you consider is reasonable force and necessary to prevent more harm being inflicted upon yourself.
The UK self defence laws allow you to use force as self defence in the following situations:
In the many varying self defence situation, one thing remains constant
that is the fact that you can only use
PROPORTIONAL & REASONABLE FORCE
against an attacker.
This can be somewhat of a problem as the grounds for reasonable force, and this includes various forms of martial arts, and under what particular circumstances that reasonable force is applied is only to be decided by a court of law.
The crucial factor here is:
Your version of 'reasonable force' may differ significantly from that of another...
Self-defence can be used as your defence to crimes that are committed by the use of force.
In a nutshell this means: If you are in a situation where someone is attacking you, it is acceptable for you to defend yourself in a reasonable manner and using reasonable force in order to stop them, and prevent them from causing you any more subsiquent injury.
It does not mean you can just pull out a machete and start chopping them up..!
Similarly you cannot just pull out a knife that you happened to have on your person at the time, or any weapon that you decide to use to defend yourself, as that would very easily be deemed as an offensive weapon, and considered to be a disproportionate response to the attack on you in those circumstances.
But: if the attack were to continue, and you feared more violence, or worse still, you feared for your life, you can use what you consider to proportional at the time.
This may well now include using that knife that you happened to have on you at the time.
What Is Reasonable Force?
Again, remember that one persons idea of reasonable can be something quite different from yours - and this, my friends is where we have the biggest problem, deciding on exactly how much force is actually considered to be reasonable.?
Below are some of the main, generally accepted reason for lawful self defence here in the UK:
- If you find yourself being attacked, regardless of the actual reason, you have a perfect right within the UK law to use an amount of reasonable force in order to defend yourself against that attack.
- If any member of your family or friends you were with at the time were being attacked, you can again use suitable reasonable force to stop that attack.
- The same UK law also applies for your property - in so much as it is perfectly within the UK law to use reasonable force to prevent and stop someone who may be damaging or stealing your property.
- In fact you can also use reasonable force in order to help prevent an attack on any member of the public in order to help prevent a crime and make a lawful arrest.
Of course there are sensible parimeters to stick too:
That being you have to believe that there is a genuine reason for you to use self defence in this way…
AND… again, it is essential that the amount of reasonable force used must be in proportion to the attack on you.
You can execute self defence before being attacked.
There are some circumstances where you may fear an attack is imminent, in this case the law says – you do not have to wait to be attacked before using a form of self defence – and you are within the UK law to use a method of self defence to strike an assailant BEFORE they attack or strike you.
But remember the most important part of the law - Only reasonable force can be used, and it must be proportional to the perceived, imminent attack.
Of course there is one BIG PROBLEM with this whole self defence thing - bad guys don't care about the law. You may be living your life within the laws of the land, but there are others who don't.
Essentially you have no defence against an attacker who pulls a knife on you, other than having luck on your side! Not much use really. We can buy and own a lot of self defence weapons, but that's as far as it gets. You'll get arrested if you carry them in public - hardly self defence weapons then really?
It's a massive 'catch 22' and whatever way you lean in this debate, there will be a perfectly good counter argument against you.