Young serial thugs, burglars and drug dealers should be named and shamed by the courts, according to one of the candidates for the new job of Police and Crime Commissioner.
Ribble Valley businessman Kevin Horkin says that under the present system too many juvenile criminals enjoy anonymity for too long.
If elected as Lancashire’s new police and crime boss later this year, Mr Horkin says he will call for greater powers for magistrates to be able to lift the automatic ban on identifying young offenders.
“I accept that the law is there to protect young people. However, under the cloak of anonymity are serial juvenile offenders who should be publically named and shamed,” he said.
The present law forbids the identification of any child convicted of an offence who is under the age of 18.
“The do-gooders in our society say that the vast majority of young people will grow out of crime and therefore should be protected. However, what about those who continue to offend; the young thugs, burglars, drug dealers, car thieves and shoplifters who continue to wreak havoc?
“Magistrates should have greater powers to name juveniles and reporting restrictions should be relaxed to allow journalists to publish their names,” said Mr Horkin.
The new Police and Crime Commissioners will work closely with the judiciary and Mr Horkin – who is also a town and borough councillor – believes this will provide an opportunity for change.
“There are lots of difficult and controversial law-and-order subjects which need to be tackled. Naming and shaming young offenders is only one of them,” he said.
“If elected, I will be asking the judiciary ‘who are we protecting by shielding juveniles who will become the adult criminals and jailbirds of tomorrow?’.”