Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

27/05/08 MP Rosie furious at court’s ASBO youth ruling

WEST Lancashire’s MP is furious at a court’s decision to allow a youth who breached his ASBO 21 times to remain anonymous.

Rosie Cooper will now write to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith MP after it was reported that the 17-year-old could not be named despite protests from a local newspaper.

The youth, who is from Skelmersdale, went before magistrates in Ormskirk last week for breaching an Anti Social Behaviour Order imposed on him in December 2005.

But the Bench felt that it was not in the public interest to name the youth.

Rosie said: “Although there may have been a good reason for not naming the youth, the message being sent out by the courts from this ruling is very disappointing.

“It was this Labour Government which brought in the Anti Social Behaviour Act and, under the Act, persons under 18 can have their identity revealed. There is a very good reason for this.

“I thoroughly believe it is in public interest to name individuals who are given ASBOs. The public need to be protected against people who refuse to obey the law and by the courts allowing people to continue under a cloak of anonymity, they are effectively taking the side of the defendant, not their victims.

“As far as I’m concerned, that is simply not on and I’ll now be writing to the Home Secretary to make her aware of this case and ask her to reinforce to the courts that naming people on ASBOs should be the rule rather than an exception.“

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