By Chris IrvineChris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, will reveal the statistic as he sets out a fresh initiative to cut crime.
Published: 7:40AM BST 04 Sep 2008
Critics of the new laws blame a government addicted to pushing complicated legislation through Parliament, and keen on grabbing a cheap headline.
A total of 3,605 offences have been introduced since May 1997, an average of 320 a year.
They include 1,238 brought in as primary legislation, which means they were debated in Parliament, and 2,367 by secondary legislation, such as orders in council and statutory documents.
The worst offender is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which has created 852 new offences.
This is followed by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and its predecessor the Department for Trade and Industry, which between them have created 678 offences.
Meanwhile the Home Office is responsible for 455 offences.
Among some of the more bizarre criminal offences created in the past five years include disturbing a pack of eggs when instructed not to by an authorised officer, or offering for sale a game bird killed on a Sunday or Christmas Day.
Under Tony Blair, Labour introduced 160 new offences in his first year, but in 2003, 493 offences were created.
Mr Huhne said "In what conceivable way can the introduction of a new criminal offence every day help tackle crime when most crimes that people care about have been illegal for years.
"This legislative diarrhoea is not about making us safer, because it does not help enforce the laws that we have one jot. It is about the Government's posturing on punishments."
Here is a list of some of the new criminal offences brought in under Labour:
- Creating a nuclear explosion
- Selling types of flora and fauna not native to the UK, such as the grey squirrel, ruddy duck or Japanese knotweed
- To wilfully pretend to be a barrister or a traffic warden
- Disturb a pack of eggs when instructed not to by an authorised officers
- Obstruct workers carrying out repairs to the Dockland Light Railway
- Offer for sale a game bird killed on a Sunday or Christmas Day
- Allow an unlicensed concert in a church hall or community centre
- A ship's captain may end up in court if he or she carries grain without a copy of the International Grain Code on board
I hope you have all been keeping up. Ignorance of the law is no excuse you know!