New Clause 4 — Anonymity Of Suspects And Defendants In Certain Cases (No.2)

Part of Sexual Offences Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 3rd November 2003.

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Photo of Michael Weir Michael Weir Scottish National Party, Angus 5:15 pm, 3rd November 2003

I have a lot of sympathy with what the hon. Gentleman is saying, but there may be a fundamental difficulty with subsection (1), which states that

"Where an allegation has been made that a person has committed an offence", they cannot be identified prior to their being charged. It strikes me that in a case in which the authorities were looking for someone who could be in any part of the UK—Scotland, England or wherever—a complete ban on identification could lead to difficulties in catching them before they committed further crimes.