More power for papers to name and shame

A pat on the back for the MPs who have backed the right of
newspapers to name and shame teenage offenders who are made the subject
of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs).

The cross-party Home
Affairs Committee has rejected arguments from Barnardo’s and a police
officer, among others, that offenders should be granted anonymity.

The
committee said: “We conclude that naming and shaming is often essential
to enforce ASBOs and accept that, with a free press, it is not possible
to limit publicity to local communities.”

This is in line with
guidance issued by the Home Office earlier this year, which stated:
“Publicity should be the norm rather than the exception.”

The
Home Office has also recommended that photographs of people subject to
ASBOs should be released to the media. Coupled with the findings of the
Home Affairs Committee, this can only strengthen the hand of newspapers
when they want to identify ASBO youths and are meeting with opposition
from police, courts and councils.

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