LONDON – England's repeat rascals can breathe a little easier tonight. Being an "incorrigible rogue" is no longer against the law.
Britain's Ministry of Justice said that the old-fashioned-sounding offense, created in the early 19th century, was one of more than 300 obsolete offenses which had been scrapped over the past year.
The 1824 Vagrancy Act was aimed at the punishment of "idle and disorderly persons," ''rogues," and "vagabonds." It defined an "incorrigible rogue" as a homeless person who violently resisted arrest or escaped confinement.
Many such laws have been heavily amended since or slipped into obsolescence as they were replaced by newer legislation.
The Ministry of Justice publishes an annual account of new and expired offenses. Thursday's report said that as 309 old ones were scrapped, 327 new ones were added.