Broadcasting : TV viewers condemn violence

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Nearly two in three television viewers believe there is too much violence on the small screen, a report said yesterday.

Programmes such as The Bill, Silent Witness, and Thief Takers and films like Reservoir Dogs contained unacceptable levels of violence, according to 64 per cent of people polled by the Broadcasting Standards Commission. But its findings were disputed by the BBC and ITV.

The Broadcasting Standards Commission report suggested viewers had become far more sensitive to violence since the Dunblane massacre. It said 62 per cent of those polled said the one issue causing them most concern was TV violence in 1996. The figure was 55 per cent in 1995, while 57 per cent said at least one programme a fortnight contained unjustified bad language, explicit sex or violence. Men were more likely to become concerned about a programme than women, with the less well-off reporting more incidents causing concern than those in social groups A and B.