Dametto defends Castle Law

Apr 24, 2024

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has sensationally called on the State Government to consider galvanising the legal protections for Queenslanders who are faced with making the critical decision to defend themselves when confronted by an intruder inside their own home or premises.

Despite claims by the State Labor Government that by their metrics crime rates were dropping, the Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy leader said that he was witness to a much bleaker story playing out told by those dealing with the scourge of crime across North Queensland.

“The break and enters are still happening, people are waking to their cars stolen and armed robberies continue to occur. It doesn’t matter who you speak to, crime continues to be the number one concern of people from all walks of life. Queenslanders don’t feel safe walking to their car, going out in public and worse they don’t feel safe in their own homes,” Mr Dametto said.

“One of the scariest things imaginable is being confronted in your own home by an intruder, for most of us it’s the feeling of being powerless in a situation like this that petrifies us.

“In Queensland if you were to defend yourself during a home invasion you must only use like-for-like force. Failure to do so may result in criminal charges that range from an assault through to murder.

“Across Australia our current laws do very little to protect the victim if they are faced with the very real prospect of protecting themselves, their loved ones or property. West Australian laws have been sighted as the best home defence laws in the country but in my opinion don’t go far enough to protect the victim when they need the law most.

“Victims’ rights should always come first in the eyes of the law, as law makers we must recognise this. The scales need to swing back the other way when it comes to rights and protections for those who stand up to these criminals.

“How are we meant to be safe when offenders have more rights than we do? The current Youth Justice Act is a blinding example of the scales tipped the wrong way, there are 21 principles in the charter of youth justice guiding principles,19 of those relate to how best to protect the perpetrator.

“I am often asked – ‘Why don’t we have Castle Law?’ To me, this is a very good question and one that should be at some stage put to the Queensland Parliament. I believe everyone should have the right to defend themselves inside their own home or premises.

“The Castle Doctrine, is a principle grounded in the fundamental right to self-defence and could actually serve as a deterrent to those criminals who know the laws and know that to an extent they are protected by the legislation.”

Mr Dametto emphasised that being able to defend yourself inside your own home was not promoting vigilantism or encouraging unnecessary violence.

“In a split-second decision it can be either fight or flight, and when flight is not an option the consequences of their fight response should be protected by legislation, but currently there are gaping holes in that.”

Castle Law is the newest policy to be adopted by the KAP as part of their crime strategy and has already gained far-reaching community support.