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Should drink drivers be named and shamed?

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Published at 9:33am 26th November 2018. (Updated at 9:34am 26th November 2018)

Name and shame tactics used by Dorset Police has split members of the county’s police and crime panel.

Dorset police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill admitted he had second thoughts about the idea after a relative wrote to tell him that a family member had threatened suicide after being named in a newspaper as one of the people arrested for a drink-drive offence.

Mr Underhill told the county’s police and crime panel that he challenged the police ‘quite robustely’ over their policy and had ‘words’ with the head of communications for the force.

“I am not asking them to change. I’m asking them to justify what they do,” he said.

As a result of his intervention the police have now agreed to investigate if they need to carry out a risk assessment on the likely effect of naming people accused of offences.

Breathaliser

Mr Underhill said it was a balance between the effects of being named and shamed in public and policies of keeping people safe from drunk and drugged drivers.

Cllr Janet Dover said she did not like the policy: “I am really concerned about how it’s being operated by the force, but I understand that it’s down to the force, not the crime commissioner.”

But fellow councillor Don Smith said he supported the tactic: “If they treat the law with contempt and put other people’s lives at risk then it’s fine by me.”

Committee vice chairman Cllr John Adams said that, as a magistrate, he disliked the idea of naming people before they had been before a court and said he questioned whether the police had the legal right to do so. He was told by the Police Commissioner that the tactic was perfectly legal.

Mr Underhill said he would consult further with the police and bring the item back to another panel meeting.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter

 

Do you think motorists convicted of drink driving should be named and shamed?
YES
86.6%
NO
13.4%

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