A great post from the cyberdojo which I thought you all would appreciate. gem
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>From: "Butch Bonner" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Have a go heroes in the UK
Jack Straw, the much revered and respected Home Secretary here in the UK, has decreed that people in the UK should become more like "Have a go Heroes" (A term meaning that people should step in when/if they see a crime or civil disturbance happening). <snip>
However, as martial artists (in the UK), it has been made clear in no uncertain terms, that if we are involved in an incident where we (for example) stop someone getting mugged, then we can be prosecuted for assaulting/causing greivous bodily harm to the attacker. Whereas, if a non MA carried out the same defence, then the attacker would not be able to sue for assault as easily.
Your problem is not just in the U.K. my friend. That sort of thing goes on here (U.S.) as well. My suggestion is this. Get a copy of the speech given by Mr. Straw and do a little research with your MA buddies and find out data where MA’ist have been tried for trying to help. Send this data to Mr. Straw with a nicely worded letter stating what he’s suggesting is against the law. In this way you may give him a tool to change the law (which of course would make MA’ist all over the U.K. appreciative, you know like votes. Politicians always like votes.
In many states here, there is a “Good Samaritan Law” which applies specifically to traffic accidents. It says basically that 1.) a driver who comes upon an accident is bound by law to render what ever assistance for which he is qualified. And 2.) He cannot be prosecuted if his efforts do not save the life of the injured.
The situation with MA’ist is that the public feels we know exactly how much intervention is required. Because well . . they think we’re experts. Hah! It’s usually all I can do not to hurt myself!
But usually it boils down to you and the guy you helped agreeing that it took a broken jaw, nose, dislocation of both shoulders and crushed knees to stop him. After that, I’d bring suit for false prosecution!
[This message has been edited by gmattson (edited 02-20-99).]