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V1063 – Suspect Protection Bill 2016 (Second Reading) watch

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    As many are of the opinion, Aye
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    On the contrary, No
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    V1063 – Suspect Protection Bill 2016 (Second Reading), TSR Labour

    Suspect Protection Bill 2016
    An Act to ensure the identity of suspects in any investigation are not revealed until proven guilty.


    BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

    1: Definitions
    (1) Suspect refers to a person who is alleged to have committed a crime, offence, or the like.
    (2) The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the principal public prosecuting agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales.
    (3) The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is the principal public prosecuting agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in Scotland.
    (4) The Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland is principal public prosecuting agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in Northern Ireland.
    (5) A Unilateral NDA is a non-disclosure agreement involving the police, CPS or any other law body, and a member of the public which requires that the information be protected from further disclosure.

    2: Prohibition of Revealing Suspect Identities
    (1) No one shall be allowed to reveal suspect identities or identifying characteristics of suspects to the press or the public.
    (2) Once a guilty charge has been passed, the identity of the person in question may be released.
    (3) Once a suspect is found to be innocent, all records linking them to the crime will not be put in the public domain.
    (4) The identities of suspects will be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

    3: Exemptions
    (1) Suspect names may be revealed in exceptional and clearly identified circumstances, where keeping a suspect’s identity hidden could put the public in danger.
    (2) In England and Wales the Crown Prosecution Service will make the decision as to whether a suspect's name may be revealed.
    (3) In Scotland the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service will make the decision as to whether a suspect's name may be revealed.
    (4) In Northern Ireland the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland will make the decision as to whether a suspect's name may be revealed.
    (5) Witnesses may be given further details of a suspect if they can provide beneficial material to an investigation but all witnesses must sign a Unilateral NDA.
    (6) Juries and all other members present in legal trials may be given further details of a suspect but they must sign a Unilateral NDA.
    (7) All suspects have the right to reveal their identity to the public if they wish.

    4: Penalties
    (1) Disclosing the identity of a suspect in contravention of this Act shall be an offence punishable by;
    a. a prison sentence not exceeding 3 years or;
    b. a fine not exceeding £200,000 where an individual is found guilty or a fine not exceeding £1,000,000 where an organisation is found guilty.

    5: Extent, Commencement and Short Title
    (1) This Act extends to the United Kingdom.
    (2) This Act shall come into force on 1st November 2016.
    (3) This Act may be cited as the Suspect Protection Act 2016.


    Notes

    In recent years there have been several incidents where the identity of suspects has been revealed to the public via police statements or the press. Unfortunately, the leaking of such information can have several negative effects on the person in question and it is an unnecessary addition to the mounting stress they will face as part of an investigation. Theresa May is one of many high profile politicians to express concern in recent years as innocent suspects continue to be thrust into the media’s domain.

    One reason why suspect identities is because the public judge too fast. Unfortunately many people strongly believe that a suspect is guilty, even if they don’t have any evidence to justify that. Occasionally suspects may receive threats or have their property damaged. Even when a suspect is cleared they may still be impeded by others who wrongly believe they are guilty. The reputation of a suspect can be permanently damaged and as aresult, they could find it much harder to find a job or a partner in the future. Even if they are innocent, their name will be linked to a specific crime.

    Another reason why identities should not be revealed is because of the media. Media outlets, especially newspaper companies, are notafraid to slightly distort a story if they think it’s going to rake in themoney. There have been several examples of the media wrongly attacking a suspect and turning the public against them. The 2010 case involving Christopher Jefferies and the 2014 case involving Cliff Richard are just a few of many times this has sadly happened. And it’s not just the public whose views could be erroneously influenced by the media. In cases where there is strong media coverage, there is a higher chance that the jury’s interpretations may be tainted.

    Revealing the identity of suspects, no matter how minor the case, can have a significant impact on a person and the bad publicity they can pick up can potentially stay with them for the rest of their lives. The negatives of exposing suspect identities considerably outweigh the positives and it should be forbidden.


    Here are some articles related to this bill:
    http://www.debate.org/opinions/shoul...l-found-guilty
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/...7/rape-ukcrime
    http://news.sky.com/story/may-tells-...pects-10445643


    Changes for the Second Reading:
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    - Witnesses may be given further details of a suspect if they can provide beneficial material to an investigation but all witnesses must sign a Unilateral NDA.
    - Juries and all other members present in legal trials may be given further details of a suspect but they must sign a Unilateral NDA.
    - All suspects have the right to reveal their identity to the public if they wish.
    - Unilateral NDA definition has been added.
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    No for the reasons outlined in both readings.
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    Nay because the changes asked for in second haven't been made
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    I'd only support this in cases of sexual assault and rape.
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    I agree with the idea but problems that have been pointed out has still not been fixed.
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    This issue has concerned me for a long time, so I'm happy to support this bill.
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    (Original post by Birchington)
    This issue has concerned me for a long time, so I'm happy to support this bill.
    At the expense of catching criminals? It's all well and good having anonymity, but for the accused to have anonymity they, well, have to be accused first, something which the proposed method would hamper

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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    At the expense of catching criminals? It's all well and good having anonymity, but for the accused to have anonymity they, well, have to be accused first, something which the proposed method would hamper

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    The question is whether you think violation of the innocent until proven guilty principle is worth catching a few more criminals, and probably with slightly lower accuracy too. Nobody who calls themselves liberal can realistically oppose this Bill (not that I'm saying you call yourself liberal, but IMO Liberal Party members should defect if they feel compelled to vote against).
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    At the expense of catching criminals? It's all well and good having anonymity, but for the accused to have anonymity they, well, have to be accused first, something which the proposed method would hamper

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    Presumably the police and other law enforcement services will always have access to intelligence and the details of suspects. However, this information should not be made public until someone has actually been charged.
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    (Original post by Birchington)
    Presumably the police and other law enforcement services will always have access to intelligence and the details of suspects. However, this information should not be made public until someone has actually been charged.
    So if the police have CCTV of a violent crime and need help IDING the perpetual they shouldn't be allowed to ask the public?

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    (Original post by Aph)
    So if the police have CCTV of a violent crime and need help IDING the perpetual they shouldn't be allowed to ask the public?

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    They still can ask the public for help, provided any submissions are handled confidentially (as usual).
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    (Original post by Birchington)
    They still can ask the public for help, provided any submissions are handled confidentially (as usual).
    Read 2.1

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    There are a lot of cases where evidence is purely circumstantial (like rape/sexual assault), I agree with not naming them before the end of the case; however, if they're not proven innocent the public should know (even if they're not proven guilty either). Therefore abstain
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    (Original post by Andy98)
    There are a lot of cases where evidence is purely circumstantial (like rape/sexual assault), I agree with not naming them before the end of the case; however, if they're not proven innocent the public should know (even if they're not proven guilty either). Therefore abstain
    If a suspect is proven guilty, their details can be released to the public - "An Act to ensure the identity of suspects in any investigation are not revealed until proven guilty."
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    (Original post by Andy98)
    There are a lot of cases where evidence is purely circumstantial (like rape/sexual assault), I agree with not naming them before the end of the case; however, if they're not proven innocent the public should know (even if they're not proven guilty either). Therefore abstain
    So you want 3 verdicts? 'Guilty', 'not guilty' and can't say?
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    (Original post by Quamquam123)
    If a suspect is proven guilty, their details can be released to the public - "An Act to ensure the identity of suspects in any investigation are not revealed until proven guilty."
    But what about the cases where they can't be proven innocent or guilty?

    (Original post by Aph)
    So you want 3 verdicts? 'Guilty', 'not guilty' and can't say?
    Yeah, because sometimes there isn't enough evidence to make an informed decision.

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    (Original post by Andy98)
    But what about the cases where they can't be proven innocent or guilty?



    Yeah, because sometimes there isn't enough evidence to make an informed decision.

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    If they can't be proven guilty, it's still wrong to release their details.
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    (Original post by Andy98)
    But what about the cases where they can't be proven innocent or guilty?


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    Unless someone is proven guilty, their details won't be released.
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    Another reason to protect suspect identities: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37912886
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    Ayes to the right: 17
    Noes to the left: 11
    Abstentions: 15

    The Ayes have it! The Ayes have it! Unlock!

    Turnout: 86%
 
 
 
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