Parliament - media: Curb on child cases to stay

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The Independent Online
THE GOVERNMENT rejected calls to modify legislation preventing the media reporting details of children affected by crime and appearing as witnesses in court cases.

Paul Boateng, Home Office Minister of State, told the Commons that, while the Government recognised the role the media played in detection and prosecution of crimes involving children, its primary concern was their protection. "It is that objective which led us ... after a great deal of deliberation and consultation with the NSPCC and other organisations, to go down the road we have," he said during detailed report stage debate on the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill.

The Government later defeated a Tory move to amend the Bill's provisions by 288 votes to 122.

The legislation will prevent the media reporting criminal investigations or court proceedings if that is likely to lead to children involved being identified.

Mr Boateng told MPs a "number of cases" had made it "very clear that there were real concerns about the impact of publicity - whether as victims or witnesses - on children".