Khan’s London: BBC Anchor Has Home Invaded While at Home with Wife

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for The Royal British Legion
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for The Royal British Legion

BBC News anchor Huw Edwards was woken by a break-in at his home in the British capital of London at 5:30 a.m., according to reports.

“Huw bravely ran down after the burglar, but he was a whisker too late. He saw the criminal driving off in [his] car and trudged back to the house,” a source told The Sun.

“He put it down to one of those things which happen when you live in a city,” they added — an echo of city mayor Sadiq Khan’s infamous declaration that being prepared for major crimes such as terror attacks is “Part and parcel of living in a great global city”.

It is perhaps fortunate that 58-year-old Edwards, who has denied initial reports that he pursued the burglar down the street in his pyjamas, did not arrive on the scene of the crime in time to intercept him.

Second World War veteran Peter Gouldstone, 98, was killed by burglars who broke into his home in the London borough of Enfield in late 2018, while Maureen Whale, a 77-year-old “lovely lady” described as “frail” by neighbours, collapsed and died after raiders ransacked her home in the London borough of Barnet a month later.

But the elderly, though said by victims campaigners to feel more at risk in their homes than at “any time in living memory”, are not the only victims of home invaders.

For example, former Royal Navy officer Mike Samwell, 35, died after he he confronted intruders leaving his home in his stolen car and was run over several times in 2017.

So-called “hot burglaries”, which take place while the victims are in the home, are far more common in the United Kingdom, where they account for more than half of home invasions, than in the United States, where they account for nearer one-tenth.

This is due in no small part to the fact that there is a significant chance that occupants in American homes may be armed, and in many states they have fairly generous rights to use deadly force to defend their lives, family, and property against intruders.

In Great Britain, on the other hand, keeping arms for home defence is now outlawed, and the relatively small number of citizens allowed to keep licenced firearms at home for other purposes, such as hunting and sport shooting, run a very real risk of imprisonment if they use them for home defence and the state decides, with the benefit of hindsight, that the level of force involved was “unreasonable”.

The ever-tightening restrictions on legal firearms do not appear to be stopping criminals from acquiring guns and using them in an increasing number offences, however.

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