Names of suspects are kept secret by the police according to new guidelines

NAMES of criminal suspects may be kept secret by police under new guidelines being drafted.

The police college is reviewing its media advice to the armed forces and urging them to be more careful about naming suspects when charged.

Names of suspects can be kept secret by the police under new guidelines


Names of suspects can be kept secret by the police under new guidelinesCredit: Getty

Current guidelines say defendants “should” be identified – but revised to say they “may” be named.

The CoP wants agents to decide on a case-by-case basis.

But Dawn Alfordof the Society of Editors, accused the proposals of undermining open justice with “unprecedented restrictions on the flow of information”.

She added that “misplaced concerns about data protection and defendants’ privacy rights are being used as a basis for allowing police to choose which criminal charges to confirm to the media.”

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Ms Alford said the Society is in dialogue with the CoP to “reverse these draconian proposals and strengthen rather than restrict the public’s right to know”.

A spokesman for the CoP said last night: “The guidelines need to be updated following the introduction of new data protection legislation.”