26 January 2010
“...whose name we can’t report for legal reasons.”

You know that rule about how the names of juvenile offenders can’t be reported?  Well, I thought I’d have a rootle around in old editions of The Times to see if I could find out when and why it was introduced.  The “when” was pretty straightforward: 1933 in the Children and Young Persons Act.  Actually, it seems that the press had ceased reporting names some time beforehand.  The last example I can find in The Times was about 1923.  But the “why”?  Beats me.  It seems there was absolutely no debate on the matter.  Certainly, no evidence of a problem to which it was supposed to be the solution.

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