§ Lord Braine of Wheatley
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have to regulate the availability of videos for home viewing which contain gratuitously violent material.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Earl Ferrers)
A well-established and strict system of video control and classification is already operated by the British Board of Film Classification under the Video Recordings Acts 1984 and 1993. In practice, the board 71WA exercises a similar role in relation to cinema films, although the legal responsibility under the Cinemas Act 1985 lies with local authorities. The BBFC's approach to the classifications of films and videos is discussed in its Annual Report for 1992, a copy of which is available in the Library. This makes it clear that the BBFC takes its responsibilities very seriously, and that it is particularly concerned about the depiction of violence. The board is required to have special regard to the fact that videos will be viewed in the home. Consequently films are more restrictively classified on video than for the cinema and some cinema films may not be suitable for release on video in any version. The board, with others, has commissioned research into the viewing habits of young offenders in order to inform its future classification policy, and I understand that the results of this research are expected to be published in the near future. The Government keep the arrangements for the control of videos under regular review.