Moves to ban film violence backed by survey

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The Independent Online
MOST PEOPLE believe violent films should be banned to protect children, according to a survey to be published tomorrow.

And about 1 in 10 young people have admitted they felt violent after watching a film. However, almost half of the sample of 1,000 said that seeing films containing brutality made people more tolerant towards violence and more than 4 in 10 did not want new legislation.

The survey, which was carried out last month and is published in the magazine Empire, comes days before MPs are due to debate whether to introduce a ban on videos containing extreme violence.

In the survey, more than 2 in 3 people believed too much violence was screened - 56 per cent wanted violent films banned to protect youngsters, although 42 per cent were against new legislation.

While 96 per cent said that they had never felt violent after seeing a film, 11 per cent of 15- to 24-year- olds said they were influenced by seeing bloodthirsty scenes.

Two-thirds of those surveyed thought parents should take responsibility for protecting the young. One in three felt the Government should be accountable, while a similar number felt the onus rested with the film-makers.

Last week, Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, announced that he is to press the film censors to tighten curbs on children's access to video nasties. But he will reject proposals for new legislation to ban 'ultra violence'.

He is resisting an amendment sponsored by David Alton, Liberal Democrat MP for Mossley Hill, to the current Criminal Justice Bill, due to be debated next Tuesday. It has been signed by 220 MPs, including 80 Tories, and would deny adults access to videos judged potentially harmful to children.

Mr Howard's announcement followed the publication of a report, signed by 25 of Britain's leading child psychologists, which linked video nasties with child crime. The validity of the paper, however, was called into question after it emerged that the author had written it to help Mr Alton's amendment.