Oxford Mail fights for change in child anonymity

The Oxford Times: Andrew Smith MP Andrew Smith MP

THE Justice Secretary will be quizzed today on steps taken to update a child anonymity order to incorporate social and electronic media.

East Oxford MP Andrew Smith, right, submitted the parliamentary question after being contacted by the Oxford Mail in regards to section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

The call for an update to legislation comes after convicted stalker Roland Der, of Old Dairy Close, Swindon, was cleared of breaching a section 39 order earlier this month.

He had denied breaching the order by posting his 15-year-old victim’s name on the Oxford Mail’s Facebook page in August and was cleared because the law only covers newspaper reports and radio and TV broadcasts.

Mr Smith told the Oxford Mail: “Protection for victims clearly needs to be extended here.

“There is an indefensible inconsistency in the present law if a victim’s name can be published on social media, but not in a newspaper.

“Publication is publication however the information enters the public domain.”

Brent Central MP Sarah Teather asked Justice Secretary Jeremy Wright in October last year whether he will bring forward legislative proposals to amend section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 so that it explicitly applies to social media.

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Mr Wright replied that the Government was considering the existing law on reporting restrictions in cases involving under 18s.

Comments (1)

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8:44am Fri 17 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

It's a fascinating subject.

In the past, I have purchased a copy of "The Scotsman" at Edinburgh Airport and read in-depth articles that would be an offence to publish in England.
It's a fascinating subject. In the past, I have purchased a copy of "The Scotsman" at Edinburgh Airport and read in-depth articles that would be an offence to publish in England. Andrew:Oxford
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