In the Media

Criminals to be named and shamed by Home Office

PUBLISHED October 14, 2012

Members of the public will be able to enter their postcode and see a "rogues' gallery" of local convicts who have recently been handed jail terms.

The service, called "In The Dock", will be introduced gradually on the website from the end of this month.

Ministers hope it will boost confidence in the criminal justice system, while also drawing a line under recent cases where police have declined to issue photographs of criminals or suspects because of human rights laws or concerns over privacy.

Victims of crime will have the opportunity to give their view on whether their attacker's mugshot should be publicised.

Publishing photographs of convicted paedophiles and sex offenders has not been ruled out, a Home Office spokesman said, but each offender will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Initially, the new service will feature offenders from West Yorkshire Police, which already publishes the mugshots on its website, but ministers expect other forces to follow suit.

Damian Green, the police minister, said: "When someone breaks into your home or robs your local shop, you want to see them properly punished and held to account for their actions.

"So we will be placing mugshots of convicted criminals on our trailblazing crime mapping website so that justice is seen to be done in the truest sense.

"With just one month to go until the police and crime commissioner elections the public deserve to have detailed, up to date information about crime in their area, and with improvements like this they will be further empowered to hold police leaders to account."

In 2003, a criminal who claimed his human rights would be infringed by an Essex Police "name and shame" poster campaign was backed by the then Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf.

Three years later, police forces refused to issue photographs of the 1,013 foreign national prisoners who had been wrongly released from prison without being considered for deportation.

In 2008 the Government introduced "Sarah's Law", allowing controlled public access to the Sex Offenders' Register so that parents with young children can find out if a paedophile lives near them.

Among the criminals currently featured in the West Yorkshire rogues' gallery are:

* Simon Jason Patrick, 38, from Holt Park, Leeds, who got 15 years for wounding, assault, affray and robbery on September 17 at Leeds Crown Court.

* Sinead Brown, 20, from Woodside, Bradford, who receved a 12 month sentence suspended for two years for drugs offences at Bradford Crown Court on October 4.

* Amaan Rashid, 21, from Heysham Drive, Holmewood, Bradford, who is depicted beaming broadly in his police mugshot, and was jailed for five and a half years for possession with intent to supply crack, heroin and cocaine.

* Scott William Ormsby, 22, from Dewsbury, who got two years at Leeds Crown Court on October 1 for burglary and taking a motor vehicle without consent.

* Deborah Fox, from Wakefield, who was jailed for 33 months for wounding with intent to commit grievous harm.

* Dana Marie McGibbon, 27, from Armley, Leeds, jailed for 16 months for theft and house burglary.

* Beverley Farmer, 52, of Tingley, Wakefield, who received a two month suspended sentence for 19 counts of fraud by abuse of position. It was previously reported that Farmer, who is also known by the surname Johnson, was manager of Leeds City Credit Union and obtained £12,000 by fraud.

West Yorkshire Police has piloted the scheme on its website since 2009, carrying hundreds of mugshots of offenders jailed at Crown Court or magistrates' court.

Its data will now appear in the site as well, and ministers are understood to be putting pressure on other chief constables to hand over similar new information and mugshots from their forces.