Bishop of Leeds asks Government about criteria for lifting anonymity of those accused of sexual offences

Leeds160620On 9th November 2016, Baroness Miller asked Her Majesty’s Government “what urgent steps they will take to restore confidence in the Metropolitan Police following the conclusions of Sir Richard Henriques report into Operation Midland.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd. Nick Baines, asked a follow up question about the criteria used to determine whether to make public the name of someone under investigation for sexual offences:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, can the Minister comment on the criteria for deciding which names should be divulged and which should not? To use the language of victimhood, we are creating victims as well as defending victims.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: Could the right reverend Prelate repeat the last bit of that question?

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My point was that we are creating victims as well as defending them; we are creating new ones. What are the criteria—that was the essential question—for deciding when anonymity ought to be breached and names put out?

Baroness Williams of Trafford: The criterion is generally that it should be in the public interest for a name to be released. We can all think of examples where names have been released and somebody has been found not to have committed any crime at all. However, it is important in law to balance that with the importance of victims coming forward and not being frightened to do so.



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