Derbyshire Constabulary abandons 'name and shame' campaign after complaint

A complaint led to Derbyshire Constabulary abandoning a campaign to 'name and shame' everyone charged with drink-driving or drug-driving over Christmas.

Sunday, 6th January 2019, 9:57 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 1:34 pm
Derbyshire Constabulary insisted it was 'within the law' with the post.

At the beginning of December, the force published a list on social media with the names, ages and partial addresses of five individuals who were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

Gary Knighton, Deputy Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, said this week: "Following a complaint and discussion with our communications team, a decision was made not to continue to name individuals charged with this offence in this manner.

"We are looking into the complaint and reviewing our procedures."

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The post identifying the five individuals has been removed from Facebook but is still on Twitter.

Commenting on the Twitter post, user @salisbury_matt said: "I'm uncomfortable with this."

Derbyshire Constabulary responded: "If you read any press release or social media post in regards to charges, you will see that the person charged can be named, and their address (minus the house number or name) can be displayed. We are within the law with this post."

@peterchapman10 said: "Isn't there a difference between charged and guilty of?"

The force replied: "There is - at the point of charge, where we can name a person, it has been decided that there is a realistic prospect of conviction, hence being charged with the offence. Being found guilty means that you've been convicted of the offence you've been charged with."

A number of Twitter users supported the campaign.

@racoonfeet said: "Well done! Keep up with naming and shaming."

@rojeli said: "Hopefully this will make people think twice. It's not worth it people!"

@cherylj95 added: "It's a great idea but maybe this could be done all the time."