28/02/2005

Conservatives to crackdown on criminal profits

Conservative leader Michael Howard has announced plans to make it illegal for convicted criminals to profit from writing about their crimes.

Under a Conservative government, Mr Howard said that royalties and fees would be treated as proceeds of crime and could be seized by authorities.

Mr Howard used the example of Moors Murderer Ian Brady, who profited from the release of a book about his crimes. The Conservative leader said that the proposed changes, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, would make ban criminals from 'cashing in' on their stories. He said that the Attorney General would be able to apply to the courts for an Order preventing criminals from profiting from writing about their crimes, under the new legislation.

The legislation could also cover live entertainment appearances by criminals.

Mr Howard said: "We don't think criminals should benefit from their crimes. Quite the reverse - they should be punished for them. Society should draw a clear distinction between right and wrong. We should be sending out the right signals that people should not benefit or be rewarded for crime. What I want to see is a presumption against criminals benefiting from crimes in this way. It is quite wrong that criminals should profit from their crimes. Mr Blair has been talking about this for years. While he has been all talk, we will act. I am determined to protect victims and punish criminals."

(KMcA/SP)

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