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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 January 2007, 12:50 GMT
Criminal memoirs to be outlawed
Paul Ferris and book
Convicted criminal Paul Ferris has written his memoirs
Convicted criminals will be barred from profiting from the publication of their memoirs under new measures being drawn-up by the Scottish Labour Party.

Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson claimed the proposals aimed to "get tough" on serious and organised crime.

Among the initiatives being considered are new powers to make it easier to confiscate money made by offenders writing about their criminal exploits.

Several convicted criminals - including Paul Ferris - have published memoirs.

The Glasgow gangster and convicted gun-runner has published three works of non-fiction and one novel.

The convicted loyalist terrorist Johnny Adair, who lives in Troon, Ayrshire, is also due to publish an autobiography later this year.

Labour wants to turn the spotlight on serious and organised crime
Cathy Jamieson
Justice Minister

The other Labour plans are new Violent Offender Orders to prevent serious criminals from associating with particular individuals or organisations and Serious Crime Prevention Orders to clamp down on organised crime.

The options are being prepared in a draft Serious and Organised Crime Bill ahead of this May's Holyrood election.

The proposed bill would also allow various public bodies to share information with anti-fraud organisations and there would be an emphasis on sharing intelligence across borders.

Ms Jamieson said: "In the next parliament, Labour wants to turn the spotlight on serious and organised crime.

'Policy in meltdown'

"We want to make it easier for the police and security services to operate across the border between Scotland and England, unlike the SNP who would make it more difficult with their plans to separate Scotland from the UK."

"Scottish Labour wants to stay a step ahead of the criminals and that is why we will introduce new powers if elected."

However, SNP justice spokesman Kenny MacAskill MSP, said: "With Labour's justice policy in meltdown across the UK this smacks of a smokescreen to hide their growing failure to address law and order.

Cathy Jamieson
Ms Jamieson wants to "get tough" on organised crime
"People want the present system to work not to hear Labour blame others for their failure.

"How can they be trusted to make cross border crime initiatives work when they failed so spectacularly on registering those who commit crimes abroad."

The public, he added, would be reassured when convicted offenders were forced to serve the sentence that had been handed down in court.

The UK Labour Government has come under sustained attack in recent weeks after a string of Home Office blunders affecting law and order.

Home Secretary John Reid has had to deal with prison overcrowding and absconding terror suspects.

Earlier this month it emerged that more than 27,000 case files on Britons who had committed crimes abroad, including rape and murder, had not been entered on the police computer.




SEE ALSO
From crime fact to crime fiction
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