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Crime - Djanogly : Government helping burglars sue victims

15th May 2003

Jonathan Djanogly this week supported new Conservative proposals to prevent burglars suing their victims.

Jonathan Djanogly, the Member of Parliament for the Huntingdon Constituency, this week supported new Conservative proposals to prevent burglars suing their victims. Mr Djanogly sharply criticised Government lawyers who, according to leaked Home Office legal papers, have recommended that burglars need special protection from householders. Such protection could help hundreds of convicted burglars bring claims in Civil Courts for damages for injury suffered whilst committing their crimes.

Mr Djanogly stressed the need for the rights of the victims of burglary to be fully considered:

"The Government have gone completely mad. They appear to be more worried about upholding the rights of burglars than those of their victims. With Labour, supported by the Liberal Democrats, intent on reducing the deterrent effect by allowing convicted first-time burglars to escape jail, the last thing we need is for them to encourage burglars to bring civil cases against victims of their crimes.

Burglary is not a simple property crime. As anyone that has ever been burgled knows too well, household burglary represents a gross invasion of personal security and privacy and it often takes people that have been burgled weeks or months to come to terms with. To do so whilst having to defend yourself against a civil claim by the person that burgled you would just be unthinkably traumatic."

Conservatives in Parliament have tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill seeking to prevent criminals, who are injured whilst breaking and entering, from launching a civil case against a householder.


Government lawyers, acting for the Parole Board, have made formal submissions in the Tony Martin appeal case, that burglars have the same legal rights as their victims. In addition, a recent report by the Law Commission, which advises ministers on proposed changes to the law, argued that judges had been too willing to reject criminals’ claims for damages (source: Independent, 5 May 2003)."


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