Gag on criminals 'will not work'

<p>Government proposals to stop criminals making money from books about their crimes will not work, say publishers.</p><p>Their comments come a week ahead of the deadline for responses to the Home Office consultation paper &quot;Making Sure that Crime Doesn&#39;t Pay&quot; (9th February). The document sets out four options, including making it a criminal offence for money to be received or paid to a convicted criminal for publications about their crimes.</p><p>&quot;If [publishers] want to circumvent the system and name an offshore fund, what&#39;s to stop them putting it there?&quot; said Weidenfeld &amp; Nicolson publisher Alan Samson. &quot;I think it&#39;s very hard to enforce that criminals don&#39;t get the money. If someone thinks there&#39;s commercial value in publishing a mea culpa, or a defiant book for that matter, they&#39;re going to find ways of getting round official channels.&quot;</p><p>Bill Campbell, publisher and co-founder of Mainstream, said: &quot;There would be ways round, undoubtedly. It&#39;s easy enough for the criminal to tell the story to a third party who could approach the publisher with the inside scoop.&quot;</p><p>Macmillan, whose authors include ex-convict Jeffery Archer, said in a formal response to the consultation: &quot;No proposal would prevent the publication of such writings. [The government should] allow market forces to determine whether or not the publication is read.&quot; The government plans have caused anger among some publishers.</p><p>John Blake, whose book by former paramilitary leader John Adair, due in March, is reported to have sparked the row, said the enquiry was &quot;preposterous&quot;. &quot;Some of these books serve as important historical documents--and quite honestly, if the criminals have gone to prison and served their time, the book helps rehabilitate them,&quot; he said.</p>