HC Deb 27 January 2004 vol 417 c266W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether amendments made by the Association of Chief Police Officers to their media and disciplinary guidelines are publicly available; [143464]

(2) what amendments have been made, following agreement with the Association of Chief Police Officers, to the media and disciplinary guidelines issued to police forces. [143480]

(3) whether anonymity will be granted to those accused of sexual offences if they have learning difficulties. [143481]

Paul Goggins

This matter was debated during the passage of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

The Government believe that informed and strengthened guidance to the police and the media is preferable to legislation.

Following discussions between the Association of Chief Police Officers and officials the updated Media Advisory Group Guidance Notes have given greater prominence to this issue. They underline that suspects should not be named before charge and go on to highlight the possible dangers of doing so. The Guidance Notes are available to the public and can be viewed on the website www.acpo.police.uk.