In an interview on the BBC News Online website he urged people not to put themselves at risk by tackling hooligans, but he stressed: "Some of the most effective people at tackling these youngsters are grandmothers because they know how to deal with these lads.
"On the whole, you don't hit your mother, you don't hit women."
Mr Straw also recounted one of his own run-ins with criminals. "If you're faced with someone who is being chased down a turning as I was four years ago and someone shouts, `Stop him, he's just robbed somebody!', you've got to make a very quick decision.
"I stopped him. I had a vague recollection of how I rugby-tackled 20 years before and it worked. It may not have done. He may have had a knife with him, but there you are."Reuse content