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Error Leaves Children Unprotected Under 1984 Video Recordings Act

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People selling adult videos, including pornography, to children are to escape prosecution after the discovery of a Whitehall blunder that means that the 1984 law regulating the video industry was never enacted.

The disclosure that for 25 years the Act governing the classification and sale of videos, video games and now DVDs was never brought into force is a big embarrassment to both Conservative and Labour governments.

It also leaves the industry in disarray with the classification system designed to protect the under-18s from violent and explicit material no longer officially in operation.

Lavinia Carey, director-general of the British Video Association, which represents 90 per cent of the industry, said: “What a ludicrous situation to find ourselves in after all this time.â€

Police and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are to be told to stop bringing any prosecutions until the Government brings in emergency legislation to re-enact the 1984 Video Recordings Act. Until then people will be able to sell videos, including violent and pornographic ones, to under-18s without fear of prosecution.

The video industry was stunned by the Government’s admission that the Act was not properly enacted 25 years ago. Officials in the Home Office had failed to notify the European Commission of the existence of the Act as they were required to do so under an EU directive.

The mistake was not spotted on two subsequent occasions, in 1993 and 1994. It was finally discovered during plans to update the law and introduce a new video-game classification system.

Barbara Follett, Minister for Culture and Tourism, said last night: “Unfortunately, the discovery of this omission means that, a quarter of a century later, the Video Recordings Act is no longer enforceable against individuals in United Kingdom courts.†In a letter to representatives of the video industry, Ms Follett said: “As the then British Government did not notify the European Commission of the VRA’s classification and labelling requirements, they cannot now be enforced against individuals in UK courts.â€


How can they have "forgot" to do this?

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Guest AuntJess

Don't tell me anyone seriously expects MPs to actually get down to brass tacks and do some work. :rolleyes: They are too busy fiddling their expenses, lining up lucrative directorships for after they've f*cked the country up, or creating quangos to fund their nearest and dearest.

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How can they have "forgot" to do this?

So, more evidence that Britain is ruled by the EU. We can't even make our own local laws without their approval. Leave the continentals to run themselves and please let's have control back here in the hands of the great Labour Party government :P

PS - Surely it's not too hard to introduce a statutory instrument to correct this error?

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