St. Stephen — The next time you’re attacked in your own home, you may want to think twice about defending yourself. Just like American “zero-tolerance” schools, New Brunswick RCMP and Crown prosecutors are cracking down on homeowners who fend off violent home invaders in an attempt to stem vigilante justice.
“When confronted by armed strangers in your house at 3 a.m., you may be tempted to protect yourself,” Sgt. Clifford Hughes told reporters at an early morning press conference. “Do not engage with them. We are telling all New Brunswickers that they must remain passive while being stabbed, beaten and robbed of their prized possessions. Remember, a trip to the hospital is much better than a trip to jail.”
Recent events near St. Stephen have resulted in provincial changes to federal castle law self-defence provisions. “Senior citizen Michael Woodard, who lives in a rural area 40 minutes from police, shot at 2 armed intruders and now he faces up to 10 years in jail,” Hughes said. “This individual was not aware that he is not allowed to defend himself or his property. Unfortunately for him, ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.”
Although citizens faced with acts of violence and theft should do absolutely nothing to protect themselves, they can take heart knowing that the violent criminals will eventually be caught. “Right now, we have a solve rate near 40 percent,” Hughes said. “That means, as you’re tending to your wounds or filing insurance claims, you can rest easy knowing there is an almost 1 in 2 chance your assailant will be prosecuted.”
With that impressive solve rate, which ranks them 6th in Canada, New Brunswick RCMP aren’t resting on their laurels. In an effort to further improve their statistics, local RCMP detachments will continue to arrest individuals who defend themselves in their own home and charge them with various assault and weapons offences.
RCMP efficiency experts estimate that if they arrest every person who defends themselves, including vigilante homeowners, those attacked by muggers, and active-duty military personnel, their solve rate would increase to about 80 percent. “New Brunswick will not only be the Picture Province, it will be, from a statistical standpoint, the safest place to live in Canada,” Hughes said.
“We are taking a ‘safety first’ approach,” Hughes added. “By putting a dangerous self-defender away for 10 years, we are making the streets less perilous for those individuals who accidentally enter strangers’ homes in the middle of the night with weapons and leave with the homeowners’ belongings.”