Average British person commits 32 crimes a year

Although 98% of British people consider themselves law-abiding citizens, on average we each commit 32 crimes a year. This is according to new research carried out by BT TV.

This “crime wave” includes such offences as failing to pay for 5p plastic bags in shops, beeping your horn at a fellow motorist in anger and vacuuming after 1pm on a Saturday.

BT TV surveyed 2,000 British adults to mark the arrival of AMC’s Better Call Saul on their service. The results show that a third (33%) of people have been caught doing something illegal, while more than 1 in 10 (13%) claimed they weren’t aware they were breaking the law.

Some well known offences covered by the survey include people using a mobile phone when driving, dropping litter and cycling through red lights. However, many people might be surprised to learn that putting a postage stamp on a letter upside down is technically treason and that flying a kite in a way that annoys people can theoretically result in a significant fine.

Two-thirds (67%) of the respondents felt that many of the laws covered by the survey were unnecessary, but the same proportion also admit to feeling guilty when they commit these relatively minor offences.

Three-fifths (60%) said it bothers them when they see others breaking the law, even in a relatively minor way, but only 1 in 10 would confront a law-breaker. On average, those surveyed reported seeing four of these minor crimes committed each day.