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Due to a legal loophole, the 1984 UK Video Recordings Act has now been rendered obsolete.

What this means is that any video game or movie with an age rating can be legally sold to any person, regardless of what age they are. So in theory, little Timmy can pop off down the shops and buy whatever filth his lunch money can afford.

As a result of this , many ongoing prosecutions against retailers who sold games or movies to underage children have been dropped.

The reason the Act is no longer enforceable is because the then Government failed to notify the European Commission of the legislation, rendering it obsolete. The law also covers adults-only titles that can only be sold in licensed sex shops and titles that had no previous classification or had been refused classification altogether.

The Liberal Democrat culture spokesman, Don Foster has said that the screw up by the 1984 Conservative Government “has made laws designed to prevent video piracy and protect children from harmful DVDs unenforceable and thrown film censorship into chaos”.

While Mr Foster has visions of anarchy in the British high streets, it should be noted that a Government spokeswoman has confirmed retailers will still enforce the age ratings on a voluntary basis until a new law is passed, which should take around three months.

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