"With the Rural Crime Unit and Mounted Police being disbanded in Staffordshire and there being 250 fewer police and police civilian personnel in our County and the closure and partial closure of Police Stations in Lichfield, Chasetown and elsewhere, there is growing unease about the ability of the Police to protect homes and individuals from crime", says Michael Fabricant who is also a member of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee which monitors the work of Jack Straw’s Home Office.
"We need changes to the Criminal Justice system to give greater legal protection to people defending their homes and families. I believe it is the first and foremost responsibility of the state is to protect its law-abiding citizens. This Government is failing in that responsibility, which is why the outcry over the Martin case has reverberated far beyond a small village in Norfolk.
"The Tony Martin case lit a touch-paper that has led to an explosion of anger and resentment among millions of law-abiding British people who no longer feel the state is on their side. The specifics of the particular case are best left to the criminal courts. But politicians aren’t doing their job if they don’t listen and respond to the unprecedented public outcry which has greeted the murder conviction for this Norfolk farmer who was defending his home against burglars.
"William Hague is right to set out the broad principles of our response to the anger expressed by the British people in recent days and months. We must re-balance the justice system to protect people who defend their families, their homes and their property against criminals. We will overhaul the law with a strong presumption that, in future, the state will be on the side of people who protect their homes and their families against criminals. These issues must be addressed if public confidence in the criminal justice system is not to collapse altogether. If the Labour Government cannot or will not, then it is the duty of the Conservative Opposition to do so. This is not a call for vigilantes, far from it, but it is a recognition that people have a right to protect themselves.
"There has to be a common sense approach to policies such as honesty in sentencing, and the extension of the ‘two strikes and you’re out regime’ to crimes such as selling drugs to children. These will go some way to restoring confidence in our courts and prison service. The police deserve support and backing and we must reverse the Labour Government’s cut in police numbers in Staffordshire and throughout the country."