Law on naming suspects to be changed

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The Independent Online
NEWSPAPERS and other media will be able to name alleged young offenders who have escaped from custody, Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, disclosed yesterday.

He said he intended to change the law so that television, radio and newspapers could help police recapture juveniles by publicising details, including photographs. The announcement in a parlamentary written answer came after several newspapers this week published the name of a 16-year-old murder suspect sought by police after absconding from a hostel.

Mr Howard said: 'We must make sure that the law does not impede the police when they are trying to bring people to justice - irrespective of their age. I do not believe that the current legislation gives as much help to the police as it should.'

The youth, accused of the shotgun killing of Amaranath Bandaratilleke at a newsagent's shop in Hammersmith, west London, on 22 February, escaped from a social services hostel last week.