One third of police forces refuse to name suspects on the day they are charged

Nearly one third of police forces decline to name crime suspects even after they are charged.

This was the finding of a survey published today in the Daily Mail.

The survey comes at a time when the Association of Chief Police Officers is proposing to recommend a nationwide ban on police forces confirming the names of suspects when they are arrested.

The fact that anonymity can extend even after a suspect is charged and set to appear in court was highlighted this week by the refusal of Warwickshire Police to confirm the name of a police officer charged with stealing £113,000.

The force initially said that it had changed its rules in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry – but then changed its mind after an outcry and named the man.

Today’s Daily Mail survey reveals that 14 out of 43 constabularies in England and Wales do not name suspects on the day they are charged. Some said they only do so on the day before they are due to appear in court.

Even then, some will only provide a surname to allow journalists to identify individuals using the court list.

ACPO lead on media issues Andy Trotter wrote in Press Gazette this week that he favours a ban on revealing the identity of those arrested by police (unless there is a strong reason for doing otherwise), but said that names should be confirmed to the media once a suspect has been charged.

It emerged today that 11 of the 13 women who broadcaster Stuart Hall has admitted assaulting came forward as a result of publicity surrounding his arrest.

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