`It fell off the back of a lorry, guv'

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A NATION of Arthur Daleys was revealed today in research which showed one person in 10 admits to buying stolen property in the past five years.

Among young men, nearly half had either bought or been offered "dodgy" goods. The market in stolen property sold in pubs and clubs, door-to-door and through dishonest shopkeepers is worth at least a billion pounds a year, the Home Office study found. Home Office minister Alun Michael vowed to crack down on the illicit deals, by developing tactics which would make stolen goods "too hot to handle", and called on potential purchasers to insist on seeing proof of ownership of any goods. Kent police will pioneer a scheme to try to reduce burglaries by making it too hard to sell the goods taken.