Whodathunkit? Worried Britons Turn to Guns for Protection 4/3/2002 With street crime on the rise in Britain, some residents are sleeping next to a gun and are prepared to kill with it, Reuters reported March 26. "Guns feature alongside baseball bats and hammers among the arsenal kept by almost one in 10 worried householders," said a report by the security firm Micromark. The report was based on a telephone survey of 1,000 Britons. According to the report, eight percent of the respondents with a weapon had a gun, extrapolated to about 100,000 homes in a population of 59 million. In addition, while 44 percent of respondents said they slept with a blunt instrument such as a baseball bat, 10 percent of the women surveyed said they keep a gun nearby. "Sixty percent of respondents believe people have the right to take the law into their own hands, and nearly half would be prepared to kill in order to protect their family," the report further stated. Crime has become a bigger concern among residents of England and Wales. In January alone, street crime in Britain rose 40 percent. Adding to the worry is a controversial government plan that calls for early release of non-violent prisoners. Martin Burrekoven-Kalvea of the National Neighborhood Watch Association said the report's findings indicate "worrying signals of a public which perceives domestic crime as spiraling out of control."