The Express & Star in Wolverhampton took advantage of Anti-Social Behaviour Order rules to “name and shame” 24 under-age criminals in a double-page spread.
The newspaper, Britain’s top-selling regional daily, pictured all of the children along with details of their crimes. ASBOs are court orders banning children or adults from specific areas and as they are civil matters, automatic youth court anonymity does not apply.
The children included 13-year-old Lukon Straker, who spent his 13th birthday in jail after breaching an ASBO banning him from 79 of Wolverhampton’s streets.
Chief news editor Mark Drew said: “We had been reporting on ASBO cases as they came and went, but it was all very piecemeal. “By drawing them all together like this it created the impact we wanted.
“Yob culture is one of society’s biggest challenges and here was the evidence of it on our readers’ doorsteps. It gave the readers an indication of the scale of the problem and also provided them with a handy guide to the teenagers who were likely to be causing them problems.”
Drew said the spread was also evidence of the co-operation his paper had received from the police and courts in naming ASBO children.
He said: “We make it our policy to challenge naming orders when cases involving these youngsters make it into the criminal courts.
And the police have also helped us obtain photographs.”