4289 Ways to Be a Criminal
Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 22nd January, 2010
The Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman, Chris Huhne MP, has highlighted the astounding fact that since coming to power in Britain in 1997, New Labour has created 4,289 new criminal offences. As Chris comments tartly, ‘This legislative diarrhoea is not about making us safer, it is merely Ministers posturing on penalties. Many of these offences are worthless, as they duplicate offences which could perfectly well have been used instead.’
It’s a nightmare for the police and lawyers, let alone the public, to keep up with the legislation. As Chris says, ‘The legacy of Labour is hyperactive law-making that has spread confusion among police officers, judges and every other official who has to deal with this cascade of nonsense.’ The Liberal Democrats are suggesting that a new legal ’stop unit’ should be set up within the Cabinet Office, to which every government department would have to make the case for the need of bringing in a new offence. Too many laws risk making the society paranoid, as well as clogging up the criminal justice system.