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Monday, May 10, 1999 Published at 08:59 GMT 09:59 UK


TV violence 'turns viewers off'

Horror videos blamed for playing a part in the murder of a student

Television shows too much graphic violence, despite evidence that viewers do not like it, according to a broadcast watchdog.

The National Viewers' and Listeners' Association report on television violence comes days after a judge said violent films played a part in the brutal killing of a student by two of his friends.

The group says it found 1,200 scenes involving guns and 798 violent assaults in 269 films it picked at random from the post-watershed schedule on terrestrial television.

Its survey also found 107 arson or bombing attacks, 340 attacks with knifes or other weapons and 44 scenes involving illegal drugs.

'Take moral stand'

Director of the association John Beyer said broadcasters must take a moral stand to stop screening violent films and halt the increase in violence and anti-social behaviour.

Citing the example of the student murder, he said: "How many more examples do we have to put up with? How many more murders before someone does something about the violence?"

Mr Beyer accused broadcasters of having a ratings-geared agenda out of step with public opinion.

He said recent polls had said that as many as 92% of those surveyed thought TV was too violent.

"I think the broadcasting authorities, particularly the BBC, should take a more responsible line," he said.

"Whether there is a market for this sort of thing is not really the right question.

"I think the demand is a function of the supply and if we cut the supply there will not be the demand."

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