UK Laws on Self Defence (Self Defense) – EXPLAINED!


Ninh explains, the UK Laws on Self Defence
So you’re in the UK and you’ve just been arrested for either hitting somebody, bashing
someone on the head with a wooden leg, or shot a leprechaun to death … and you want
to know if you can use ‘self defence’ as a way to avoid prosecution.
This video explains what the UK laws are regarding self defence, and if you can even argue self
defence in a British court of law. Before I begin though, I’d just like to
say that this video is for educational or entertainment purposes only, and is not a
substitute for a legally licensed professional. If you are in trouble with the law or you
think you’re in trouble, please hire a lawyer! So what is the law exactly?
Without going to all the technicalities, the law here in the UK dictates that…
You may only use Reasonable Force to prevent imminent danger and any further harm or injury.
You may use self defense to defend yourself,
someone else who is in imminent danger, your property,
prevent a crime or in a lawful arrest situation. Now notice the key words in the description,
because it’s these key words that will determine whether you escape prosecution or not. What is imminent danger?
Imminent danger generally refers to a threat to the safety of yourself, someone else or
your property. Whether you actually are in danger or not
is irrelevant at this point, the key thing is that you must believe that you were in
imminent danger. If you ever admit that you didn’t feel like
you weren’t in danger – you’ll most likely be prosecuted.
Let’s say that someone is brandishing a glass bottle in your general direction. You
can defend yourself at this point if you believe that the glass bottle will cause you or someone
else harm. If he’s on the ground and you then proceed to stamp him in the groin 17
times, this is not self defense, as the danger had passed when the drunk fell to the floor.
The prosecutor will also ask if you could have used a more peaceful resolution, such
as running away, and if you ever say yes, you can’t argue self defence either.
You can only argue self defense if you genuinely believe that you had no other choice.
Contrary to popular belief – you don’t have to wait to be attacked first. You can
issue a pre-emptive strike if you believe that it will avert danger to yourself or someone
you’re defending. You must however, always use reasonable force. So what’s reasonable force?
There is no legal definition of ‘reasonable force’ as this varies from case to case.
But in general, it refers to the most proportionate and least harmful response to the danger in
question. You also have to apply common sense to any case.
If someone tries to choke you to death and you poke him in the eye to get him off you,
that is deemed to be a proportionate response to the threat and therefore would be grounds
for self defense. If someone calls you a ‘popinjay’ and
you go and poke him in the eye, this is NOT a proportionate response and you can’t argue
self defense. You are therefore guilty of assault.
If a drunk tries to rip your clothes off and you knee him in the crotch, this would be
reasonable. If a drunk tries to rip your clothes off and
you then stab him 27 times, this would not be reasonable.
In any trial, it will be up to the jury to determine what’s ‘reasonable’ given
the circumstances, as you will always argue that what you did was ‘reasonable’. I just hit someone with an object, can I argue
self defense? The answer: it depends.
When you start using objects to defend yourself, the odds tilt towards you being prosecuted
and here’s why. In the UK – any object acquired for the
sole intention to cause harm can be classed as an offensive weapon.
Let’s say you’re in bed and someone comes in and tries to rape you.
You pick up the nearest thing you have (which happens to be a table lamp) and bash him over
the head with it. You can argue in court that you did not buy the table lamp for the sole
purpose of hitting a rapist over the head with. You bought the table lamp as a table
lamp and that you had no choice but to defend yourself with it. This is good grounds for
using an object in self defense. If however, you keep a baseball bat next to
your bed and a rapist comes in and you bashed him across the head with it, and you tell
the prosecutor that you keep a bat next to your bed just in case someone breaks into
your house – congratulations, you’re going to prison.
You’ve just admitted to buying an object for the sole intention of causing harm, and
therefore it’s now classed as an offensive weapon.
The best response if you get asked this question is … I play baseball. I just shot a guy with a gun. Can I still
argue self defense? When guns are involved, you REALLY tip the
balance in favour of prosecution. In the UK – where gun laws are extremely
strict, you generally have no good reason for having a gun in your possession in the
first place, let alone using it to defend yourself.
If you’re not licensed to have that particular gun, or you used an illegal gun to shoot someone
with, it’s almost certainly prison for you. If you are licensed to have that gun, the
prosecutor will ask you what you were doing with that gun when you used it in self defense,
and there’s only a handful of scenarios where you can escape prosecution here. And
even then, it’s up to the jury to decide whether you lawfully used it to defend yourself
or not. So to summarise.
If you were defending yourself, someone else, your property or preventing a crime
AND there was imminent danger AND there was no other peaceful resolution
AND you used reasonable force AND if you used an object, you did not buy
it for the sole intention of causing harm Then you may just about have grounds for arguing
self defense to avoid prosecution. Remember, this varies from case to case and
I strongly recommend that you consult a lawyer for your exact circumstances. I’ve seen
thugs people shoot someone dead and get away with it, and I’ve also seen grannies hitting
robbers with handbags that got prosecuted for it. So always consult a legal professional.
If you have found this video at all helpful or entertaining, please like, comment, share
and subscribe. It takes ages to make one of these videos and good karma is much appreciated.
Remember, if you’re in trouble with the law or you think you’re in trouble, please
hire a lawyer! Ninh Ly, www.ninh.co.uk, @NinhLyUK

100 Replies to “UK Laws on Self Defence (Self Defense) – EXPLAINED!

  1. Reading most of the comments and most are very negative towards the UK, If you look at the demographics and do the math the UK is a much more safe place than the America (we all know this already) with out strict laws on the use of weapons. In the UK 2016 there was between 574 gun killings in one year, whereas in America it was 13,286 people that were killed by guns, I understand that Americas population is almost five times bigger than the UK's so if you do the math that equates to 2,657 deaths per year if America had the UK's population, as you can see because of the UK laws they intentionally save just under 2100 people. So i am glad they have these laws in place, it a safer way to live. Although saying this I do think people should be allowed to have some sort of self defense weapon that you can use if you feel if you feel that your in any danger.

  2. Having a baseball bat for self defence next to your bed will result in guilty, thats nuts. what do you use then, your elbows?

  3. one flaw is if a intruder is in your home . he or she is not going to go to the police saying they broke into your home and you beat the crap out of them are they ? for example some twat tried to mug me in town and yes im trained so i broke his arm badly at the elbow as he had a knife but once incompasitated i did make sure he regretted his decision. so in the case of someone breaking in my home i will ensure their life is a living hell i have two big dogs and i am very protective of my home and belongings. if criminals do not care i care even less about consequences of defending myself and my home.

  4. South Korea has even stricter self-defence law. In Korea, Self-defence law only applies to 'imminent danger' not 'threaten' or 'possible future attack', which is too tricky to interpret properly. You also can't hit the assulter as much as his injuries take more than 3 weeks to heal. But take it with a grain of salt. I am not a lawyer, and I may be wrong. Anyway, thank you for your video. It is both informative and entetaining.

  5. Damn, this comment section is fecking hilarious. Btw, I've heard that if you ended up killing someone in self defence and through evidence be proven in court as reasonable force (I'm talking dude wielding a knife with your family in the house), you're likely to walk away unscathed.

  6. So basically
    >mostly subjective
    >can only barely defend yourself
    >extremely vague with few defining grounds
    >*a fucking stick* can get you put in jail
    >you can not defend yourself with things you bought to defnd yourself
    >police are unarmed, so they can't defend you properly (think of that video where 8 officers with batons were held back by a drunk man with a plank for +10 mins)
    >parts of england are being declared No go zones, so the unarmed police won't even help you
    >if you live there you can't buy fucking mace to defend yourself

    BUT AMERICANS GET SHIT FOR HAVING THE GUARNTEED RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE IN THE SECOND AMENDMENT, WHILE BRITBONGS GET THROWN IN PRISON FOR HAVING A STICK BY YOUR BED TO PREVENT YOUR FAMILY FROM GETTING RAPED AND MURDERED

    ok

  7. I do not believe the police should have the right to carry guns If the general public do not have the right to carry guns this country is backwards

  8. In every country their is a law of self defense. However this is good for person but very tough to prove in court.
    https://web.facebook.com/AdvocateShahajahan76/

  9. This has to be the dumbest part of UK law. So in a threatening situation, emotions run high, most people are untrained, yet they have to worry about having 'a measured response'.

  10. British people have been castrated, and turned them into sheep. In Michigan you have the right to stand your ground with lethal force. Your pathetic, England

  11. What about the UK Laws on Physics? If you get shot or stabbed, then can you claim laws of physics prompted you to shoot or stab back?

  12. I am a former UK senior Police officer who was  in charge a unit that taught self defence  including the law on self defence …. this video is made with good intention and has some very good points BUT has serious errors and has been clearly made by someone who has indeed fully read the law but does not really understand it … for instance the bit about the rapist being stabbed 17 times is wrong this `may` be ok if the women fears for her life … the offensive weapon laws do NOT apply in your own home (private places) you can keep a sword at home intend to use it in defence and tell a police officer that, if one was in your home, its ok, again if you used it it would depend on the threat you were facing… you can defend yourself … in fact you can KILL and INTEND to KILL, this 78 year old man is proof of that he did KILL and was arrested THEN released WITHOUT CHARGE as even the papers clearly say .https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/pensioner-arrested-after-burglar-killed-12357610 …. the law is clear you can use reasonable force in the circumstances … extreme danger means extreme force and this example proves it … what you cant do is keep hitting when the threat ends THATS what gets people in trouble… the law around offensive weapons is not the same at home (not carried) as on the street (carried).

  13. So, if I take somebody (who attacked me, of course) to the ground and hold him there until the police arrive, or manage to say… apply a non lethal choke to put him down until the authorities respond to the scene, this would count as questionable force? What about equal force? I might have missed something, but U.K. law sounds pretty… Confusing?
    Edit: I know Ninh says he's not a lawyer a few times in this video, I just need clarity.
    Also, if you buy a baseball bat, and the bat was meant to be used as a weapon, and you lie on the stand and use the excuse "I play baseball", if the prosecution proves that you lied, wouldn't that be purjery? Doesn't England have a law against that like we do across the pond?

  14. Say in U.K. if u had a gun licence and someone broke into your home and charged at u with a huge knife and you are cornered and just so happen to have the gun near you could you shoot the person about to stab you?

  15. Completely ridiculous system, doing more harm than good,protecting the criminals and criminals know this,one of the reasons I bet crime is so high now. You break into my home and try and traumatize my family you will be lucky to leave alive, and no the police or media will not hear about it, no report no incident.

  16. I wonder how many dead burglars are buried in peoples garden all around the world?, It really doesn't surprise me people don't bother reporting crimes anymore,its a waste of time in reality,police are useless and say "there is not much we can do" which a polite way of saying "we don't really give a fuck", my next door neighbour was burgled last week, front window smashed and car stolen while they were on holiday, we phoned the police immediately in the morning about 8:30am and the response time was appalling,they arrived just after 11 o clock, obviously not much a priority to them it seems.

  17. Never been so educated and entertained at the same time! Brilliant video! 👏👍 and subscribed 👌

  18. What the hell is reasonable force that's way to subjective what you might find reasonable force I may not it's fucking retarded if a guy is coming at me to rob and stab me I'm either gonna run like fuck or defend myself by beating the living shit out of that guy then running for my life.

  19. As a great supporter of Britain and the queen an a lover of my country. Self defence rules are fucked up. We should be allowed weapons (no firearms) INSIDE our homes to defend ourselves in the event of an attack using any force we want to deal with the situation

  20. So even if you don't own a weapon you cannot self-defense? Immediate lose-lose situation which only gives rapists/murderers/terrorists advantages.
    UK supports terrorism and needs to get bombed. Or at least kill the person who forbids self-defense.

    If your country forbids citizens from stopping predators, then that same country SUPPORTS TERRORISM.
    Countries that support terrorism need to have a war started against them, they need to get burned and bombed.

  21. I live in the Philippines
    i practice/trained Taekwondo, Boxing and Kali/Eskrima/Arnis for my self defense or for my losing my weight?!.
    i made and owned a homemade wooden stick-sword from my Rehab Camping trip, i own and i collect Kali sticks in my room. just in case If somebody is barged into my house
    and My Cousin is a Lawyer(no need for hiring a lawyer. my Cousin is now officially a Lawyer)

  22. This all seemed perfectly reasonable to me until the part about defending yourself with an object. Using your example with the baseball bat, had that occurred in the USA, a jury would almost certainly agree that the victim was justified in using the bat, because it's unlikely that they would have been able to defend themselves without it. That's always the key question when a weapon is involved: was it necessary / proportional based on the situation. Your intent when purchasing the weapon/object doesn't matter.

  23. From what I’ve seen reading the BBC website. Defending yourself in England will land you in jail. And Ched Evans was exonerated but don’tlet that stop you smearing him you prick.

  24. Sick country promoting criminals over ordinary people… rapist in your house and you can't even use a baseball bat… Now I understand why Britain is dying…

  25. UK rules are fucking stupid. Can't keep a bat for protection even if you use it only to defend yourself. Yeah sounds smart…

  26. Fuck your lore.

    Do what you can to keep yourself safe. The law will interpret things how they want which is why they use as many ambiguous words as possible.

    What is reasonable to one is not to another. Fuck your interpretations, keep yourself alive and don't look for trouble and you will be fine.

  27. As much as I disagree with them, I can understand the intent behind UK gun laws. I cannot for the life of me understand THIS.

  28. Just discovered this – solid kubotans (not hollow) are at face value, legal to carry in public (as a keyring of course). Read this case law from 1997, basically says that the law cannot decide what is an offensive weapon, but the facts of the case should. That being said, it appears kubotans are legal to carry, and potentially other offensive weapons (but good luck trying to convince a jury that a sword isn't an offensive weapon).
    http://archive.is/CytOn

    This also appears UK legal, as it clearly doesn't meet the definition of a knuckleduster as per the Criminal Justice Act 1988: https://www.fab-defense.com/en/category-self-defense-and-training/id-716/tactical-cap-with-self-defense-tool.html

  29. The widespread owning of any offensive weapon namely a gun of any description was relatively commonplace here (the U.K.) particularly by ex law enforcement or Armed Forces members throughout the 70s 80s and early 90s but one of the main reasons the self defence and gun laws a particularly complex is due to Mr Micheal Ryan who committed the Hungerford town massacre on the 16th of August 1987 when he fatally shot 16 people including his own mother and himself… I hope this brief explanation of our laws, regarding self defence and guns helps anyone who can't believe how strange our laws in this area are…

  30. New Zealands self defense laws are similar. Some years ago A shopkeeper used a hockey stick to fend off a knife welding would-be juvenile robber. The shopkeeper was entitled to defend himself but was initially charged with "unlawful possession of an offensive weapon" while the juvenile thug was referred to "youth aid" (which means "pull your socks up or else") as he was too young to be dealt with as an adult. The charge against the shopkeeper was dropped amid a huge public outcry but shopkeepers keep getting robbed while police (and members of parliament) threaten those with legal sanctions if they try and defend themselves. To me thats treason (levying war on new zealand and/or its people)

  31. Britain's self defense laws are so stupid! You shouldn't get arrested for having a object to use for self defense, This is just injustice and ridiculous!! People have every right to defend themselves and their property!! You should be able to kill someone just for breaking into your home, because if you wait till your life is in danger it might be too late by then!!! And having a object to use for self defense might be the only way to defend yourself and property!! The UK is on the side of the criminal not the victim!! Like with that Farmer Tony Martin that got arrested for shooting 2 burglars and he went to prison for it!! He was protecting his property from scumbags!!

  32. I heard I am a brit anyways but I heard the first and best way to avoid legal battles Is to RUN AWAY.

    You can't get done by the law if you ran away from a possible injury or assault. The quicker you take off running and the less harm you do to the intruder/attacker the better your chances are.

    So take up running and sprinting or take football with your mates for practice lol.

    The fitter and faster you are it could just save your life.

    No UK judge can send you to prison for taking off by foot in the opposite direction as fast as you can!!!!

  33. As a liberal I do believe in stand your ground. I don't support a legal duty to retreat because we Brits don't do that! And I say this as a liberal!

  34. How can you make a system so stupid that it requires an item be for none defensive purpose to defend yourself. If someone breaks into my house I’ll gladly serve time for stabbing them to death to guaranty the safety of my family, like any normal individual would. If I have to consider reasonable force, it might end up with a half measure that leads to the death of my loved ones.
    System needs rebooting

  35. Old vid, but I really hate the idea of "Duty to Retreat" which means if you can run, you have to. I get de-escalating, and encourage it, but never running away or retreating.

  36. I'm curious if you could argue self defense by saying you didn't run away because you didn't know how fast they run so they might be able to catch up to you

  37. While the way you was commentating this video was humorous, i couldn't help but shake my head in disgrace at how the UK law revolving around self defence is.

    This is a human's life we are talking about here and possibly their own children's or a loved 1, and it seems that you can go to prison for potentially saving either your own or theirs ? Pathetic

  38. Luckily the UK is a pretty safe country where we don't need to keep baseball bats (or guns) near our beds to repel attackers.

  39. 3:50 What? Bullshit! If i buy a baseball bat and keep it next to my bed and i have a clean criminal record, no history of aggression and no signs of a psychopathic mental illness, i should be able to argue that i had every reason to keep a bat next to my bed in the event that someone breaks in and tries to hurt me. It wouldn’t be an “offensive” weapon, it would be a “defensive” weapon.
    Some may argue “well you shouldn’t have it there if you’re going to hit someone with it anyway. Just run away and call the police”.
    It’s like some people forget we live in the fucking world. I’m not going to be able to fucking houdini out the situation and call the police, because the person would already be on top of me fucking strangling me, therefor rendering any other attempt of evasion excluding the option of bashing him over the head with a bat, useless.

  40. What kind of pussy laws are these. You sure I don't need to lick his butthole while he's attempting rape as well? Obtaining weapons for the use of self defense should be legal!

  41. so let the thung get away with it,!!!  dumb uk law ,!! , if some one puts , me , or my family in danger ,, I will fuck them up ,!! full stop !!

  42. So how can you defend yourself if you are a lone female and not allowed to carry an object you bought to defend yourself? That is lunacy and not law. I believe the Magna Carta says different. But lets say a woman wears an internal rape guard and is attacked by a rapist who is severely cut by the guard when he tries to penetrate her – can she be prosecuted? Because if she can then that cannot possibly be law! It also means females are being disadvantaged, not only due possibly to their lack of stature and strength compared to a man but cannot protect themselves in any way at all unless there happens to be an old housebrick or similar on the ground where they are being assaulted. The rich and royalty etc can afford bodyguards and I assume have accessible weapons in the event of an attack, the ordinary woman cannot afford expensive protection but is still prevented form carrying any object they bought to protect themselves. My father and all previous generation of men must be turning in their graves and wondering what the fuck millions of them fought and died for.

  43. My brother was at home with his 7 month pregnant wife and two children under 5 one very snowy New Years Evening. At around midnight the doorbell rang and my sister in law opened the door thinking it was me calling. It was two men who knocked her to the ground and entered the house.. My brother in a tee shirt, trousers and with no shoes or socks on his feet was faced with two men with bats. He was just coming out of the kitchen and had a mug of steaming hot tea in his hand. He threw the tea on the one guys face and grabbed his bat and knocked the other one spark out. That guy rolled out of the house and was lying unconscious next to my brothers car when the first guy now attacked him. The first bat had broken so my brother got into a fist fight with this guy. Meanwhile my sister in law called me because I only lived a few streets away and I called the police, jumped in my car and raced to his house. I saw a guy running up the road with his hand over his mouth which was pouring with blood so I pulled the car up in front of him to stop him getting by. I got out and he started screaming and trying to get away – he literally had no teeth left in his mouth. I walked up my brothers drive just as the police were pulling up and the unconscious man was still there. Then guess what happened……they arrested my brother for grievous bodily harm, took him to the police station, charged him and took him to jail. My sister in law and I followed to the police station with clothes and shoes and sat there for 5 hours without even being told he had been moved to jail for court in the morning. The two criminals were still in the police station being attended to by a police doctor. Some honest cop told me that the two men were reserve police officers and I soon let them know on the desk that I knew and then they would not take a statement from me or my sister in law. Later we found out that they had been on a rampage that evening smashing windows of at least 20 cars in my brothers street and other streets nearby. Luckily my brother went before a fantastic judge who on hearing the facts went completely crazy at the police and prosecutor and my brother was let go immediately. He got a tidy little sum from the police but this just shows the overt corruption of cops and the system – a different judge and it could have been a different ending.

  44. Reasonable force is vague, hoplophobia! And does this apply to the police because the police here are becoming more and more authoritarian, violent and taking away people's freedoms. If you check out the channel Crimebodge you'll know exactly what I mean.

  45. The system is like a non funny, offensive comedian that gets violent and whiny when someone doesn't find their humour tasteful.

  46. What I always think to do if I ever need to defence myself; that is to make sure to hit the attacker, or make the attacker, unable to fight. That means I will try to do something that wont end up killing the attacker, or sending him or her weeks in the ER. Something like hitting in the crotch, if possible break the arm, or any other type/kind of non live threating move. If I so happens to have a gun, or force the gun out of the attacker, then I will warn the attacker to not attack, ask the attacker to calm down (You know, like the police or soldiers will do) If the attacker wont listen, then I will shoot at thier foot or leg to stop them. I havent been attacked before, but it is something I always have in the back of my head, if I feel like a thing like that gonna happen

  47. The laws are horrible but it is up to the jury whether that axe you used to take his head off will send you to prison

  48. Basically it's illegal in the UK you can't defend yourself or own anything you could defend yourself with it's a police state with extreme laws

  49. Yeah you create criminal paridise it u cant defence yourself and your life !! Prosecuting innicent people!!

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