More than 90pc of you think Norfolk and Suffolk police should name suspects on the run

Police refused to release names of suspects wanted for several years. Photo: Archant

Police refused to release names of suspects wanted for several years. Photo: Archant

Archant Norfolk Photographic é 2011

Police forces should release the names of suspects wanted for serious crimes for years to let the public know who they are.

That is the view of 93pc of readers in a poll of 500 people on this newspaper’s website, conducted after Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies refused to reveal the suspects on the run for the longest period of time.

They include two people wanted for rape, as well as those wanted for drug offences and assaults.

We asked Norfolk and Suffolk police forces for details of the 15 suspects wanted for the longest time in each county.

But the forces cited data protection as well as the human rights of the suspects to block naming them in all but two cases.

Another reason the police refused to release the information was because it could put the suspects at risk, they said.

Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green defended the Constabulary’s decision, but readers on our website and on Facebook were less supportive.

“Mr Green, how about our rights to know that the police are looking after our interests?” one wrote.

Another said: “What about our rights to stay safe?”

Another wrote: “The police are regularly saying that they need our help and rely on information from the public. How can we help if in this case if we don’t know who these people are?”

“All the authorities should be allowed to print photos of these suspects. The public can then assist the police,” another reader wrote.

The police said they looked at risk to the public before deciding whether or not to release names of suspects.

Forces across the country have repeatedly refused to name those wanted for crimes including murder and rape to protect their privacy. But a handful of police forces have published the information.

Last year, the Daily Mail asked Britain’s police forces to name and release photos of criminals on the run for the longest time. And 21 of the forces refused because of privacy reasons.

However, Northamptonshire and Surrey police forces did release the details without citing any of the concerns about data protection or human rights of the suspects which Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies said prevented them for releasing the information.

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