Campaigners slam “naming and shaming” of antisocial children

Campaigners have criticised a High Court decision to uphold the
public “naming and shaming” of three teenagers under
anti-social behaviour orders, writes Maria


Personal details and photographs of the boys aged 15, 16, and 18
were distributed to thousands of homes and posted on the

The boys claimed their right to protection of their private and
family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human
Rights had been infringed after the Asbos were obtained by the
Metropolitan Police and Brent Council in north London.

The judges ruled that widespread publicity given to the boys was
“justified, reasonable and proportionate” and dismissed
applications for judicial review.

Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform,
which recently called for Asbos for children to be abolished, said
the judgement put young people at risk.

“Evidence from local authorities suggests that their
intention is not to create a safer society but to exploit young
people for their own political purposes to show they are doing
something about crime,” she said.

She suggested that mediation services would be more effective in
dealing with young people in the community.

Pauline Batstone, chair of the National Association of Youth
Offending Team Managers, warned the judgement could prejudice
future trials.

She said: “If the boys come to court in the future, the
authorities will have to find magistrates who do not know them from
outside, and this would be expensive.”

She added: “Communities need little outside intervention
to become aware of offenders. People are bound to know who they are
through the inevitable grapevine.”


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