Staffordshire police commissioner defends naming and shaming alleged drink drivers on Twitter
Staffordshire Police published the names of more than 80 drivers charged in the run up to Christmas
A Police and Crime Commissioner insisted a policy of naming and shaming alleged drink drivers on Twitter was saving lives despite claims that it threatened to undermine the rights of defendants to a fair trial.
Staffordshire Police has published the names of more than 80 drivers charged in the run up to Christmas on the social networking site. It is part of a month-long nationwide campaign to reduce the annual toll of alcohol-related deaths and injuries over the festive period.
Commissioner Matthew Ellis said the policy had enjoyed majority support among the public. “A recent survey suggests that the proactive approach being taken in Staffordshire and several other forces is raising the profile and potentially preventing people being killed or seriously injured on the roads. Over 60 per cent of people surveyed said that being named after charge would make them think more about the consequences of driving after having a drink,” he said.
The former Conservative councillor was speaking after being urged to resign by one of the country’s most celebrated criminal solicitors, Nick Freeman, whose Mr Loophole nickname was earned by successfully arguing on behalf of a host of celebrity clients.
Mr Freeman accused Mr Ellis of showing a “cavalier disregard for the presumption of innocence".
He said: “By his comments he is presuming that everyone named by his officers is guilty as charged, even before they have appeared before a court. I am calling for his job because anyone who makes an informed decision must make it on the correct facts and he is so erroneous in the facts he is stating.”
Senior officers said it was force policy for Staffordshire Police to name people who have been charged with an offence whilst a defendant’s name at court is a matter of public record.
The force’s Twitter account has more than 25,000 followers and has been promoting a number of law and order messages over Christmas including a campaign against sexual violence. The #DrinkDriversNamedOnTwitter campaign ends on 1 January.
In December 2012 police in England and Wales carried out 150,000 breath tests of which 5,161 were either positive, refused or failed. A total of 290 people died in drink-drive related incidents in 2012 – up by a quarter compared to the previous year, according to the Department for Transport.
- 1 David Sedaris: What I learnt from Fitbit about the world around me
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: 'It's only rape if the victim is conscious'
- 5 Katie Hopkins in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
Jessica Brown Findlay: Downton Abbey actress is linked to list of celebrities targeted by hackers
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Steven Sotloff 'beheading': British captive shown in Isis video which claims to show death of second US journalist
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently looking for an ex...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education are looking for a qua...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: "Where teaching is e...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Female PE Teacher Required - Hum...