Just over 10 per cent of US burglaries are "hot" burglaries, and in my part of the world it's statistically insignificant: there is virtually zero chance of a New Hampshire home being broken into while the family are present. But in England and Wales it's more than 50 per cent and climbing. Which is hardly surprising given the police's petty, well-publicised pursuit of those citizens who have the impertinence to resist criminals.
These days, even as he or she is being clobbered, the more thoughtful British subject is usually keeping an eye (the one that hasn't been poked out) on potential liability. Four years ago, Shirley Best, proprietor of the Rolander Fashion emporium, whose clients include Zara Phillips, was ironing some clothes when the proverbial two youths showed up. They pressed the hot iron into her flesh, burning her badly, and then stole her watch. "I was frightened to defend myself," said Miss Best. "I thought if I did anything I would be arrested." There speaks the modern British crime victim.
Perhaps she should have beheaded them on TV. Then people would have blamed America! Dave Kopel has more on this topic over at GlennReynolds.com:
Thanks to strict criminal laws, working conditions in Great Britain are the safest in the Western world—that is, if your profession is burglary. On the other hand, if you’re a law-abiding citizen quietly staying at home, you’re at much greater risk in the nearly gun-free United Kingdom, than in the gun-happy United States of America.
Self-defense is a human right. Its denial is monstrous.