Law-Flaunting Brits Will Commit 32 Criminal Acts Annually
By Rob Knight
The average Brit commits 32 different ‘crimes’ every year – including not paying for supermarket carrier bags, parking on the payment and pocketing incorrect change.
Other wrongdoings include beeping a car horn for any reason apart from alerting traffic, dropping litter and cycling without lights after dark.
A study found two thirds of the population think many of these laws are completely unnecessary – although seven in ten admit they do feel guilty if they break them.
Thirty-three per cent of respondents revealed they have been caught doing something illegal – with over a third claiming they simply weren’t paying attention.
Commissioned to celebrate the airing of Better Call Saul on BT TV on Tuesdays at 9pm, the study of 2,000 UK adults also found 98 per cent consider themselves to be law abiding.
Among the more serious misdemeanours are cycling through a red light and smoking in a non-smoking area.
A BT TV spokesperson added: “Given Jimmy’s fast and loose approach to the law and to celebrate the network premiere of his show ‘Better Call Saul’ we wanted to look at the old and archaic laws he could cunningly take advantage of.
“The research also shows there’s definitely a market need for his services as Brits are not as law-abiding as we might think… he might have just got here in time.”
Eighty-three per cent of Brits said they are sometimes confused by what’s illegal and what’s not.
Other laws commonly broken include parking on double yellow lines, cycling on the pavement and throwing tree cuttings into their neighbour’s garden.
Vacuuming after 1pm on a Sunday is among the more unusual laws on the list and could land you in trouble with environmental health officers for making too much noise.
Sticking a postage stamp to an envelope upside down is treason in the eyes of the law.
Flying a kite in a park could lead to a fine of up to £500 if it obstructs other members of the public.
And, although for many it’s an ‘innocent’ childhood prank, knocking on someone’s door and running away another ‘small’ law broken by Brits.
The research, carried out by OnePoll, also revealed Saturday at 1.52pm is the day and time people are most likely to break the law.
Almost half of people said being caught doing something illegal would be enough to convince them not to do it again.
Sixty per cent of respondents said it bothers them when they see others breaking the law – even if it’s something relatively small.
On average, UK adults spot people doing something they shouldn’t four times a day – although just ten per cent would ever confront the offender.
TOP 40 ‘SMALL’ LAWS BROKEN BY BRITS:
1. Drank alcohol under the age of 18
2. Sworn or gestured to other road users
3. Eaten or drank whilst driving
4. Vacuumed between the hours of 6pm & 8am on a weekday or 1pm & 8am on a Saturday or on a Sunday
5. Parked partly on a payment
6. Cycled on pavements
7. Speeding whilst driving
8. Pocketed change when given wrong amount
9. Beeped a horn for any reason other than alerting traffic
10. Been drunk on the street, in a pub or in a restaurant
11. Changed a CD whilst driving
12. Had sex in a public place
13. Bought cigarettes under the age of 18
14. Dropped litter
15. Taken illegal drugs
16. Disturbed people by ringing their doorbells / knocking at their doors and leaving before being answered (or playing knock, knock, ginger – also known as known down ginger)
17. Not worn a seatbelt during a car journey
18. Flown a kite in a park
19. Used a fake name on the internet
20. Stuck a postage stamp upside down
21. Used a mobile phone while driving
22. Cycled without lights after dark
23. Parked on double yellow lines
24. Driven through a red light
25. Not paid for a carrier bag at a self-service check-out
26. Had sex when you were under 16 years of age
27. Not had a TV license and watched TV
28. Used someone else’s Wi-Fi without them knowing
29. Smoked in a non-smoking area
30. Thrown tree cuttings back over your neighbours’ garden
31. Claimed an item at the self-service till without paying for it
32. Taken a child out of school for a holiday – without the head teacher’s permission
33. Not informed the DVLA of a change of name or address
34. Not cleaned up after your dog has pooed on the street/public path
35. Cycled through a red light
36. Fiddled your expenses
37. Sung or chanted a crude football chant in the street
38. Gone fishing without a license
39. Parked opposite a junction
40. Put make-up on while driving
Better Call Saul airs at 9pm on Tuesdays on AMC on BT TV.