Teenager loses police photos fight


A teenager has lost a Supreme Court fight over the police’s use of images of children suspected of being involved in riots or of causing criminal damage.

Supreme Court justices considered whether police should be allowed to publish such images at a hearing in London in November and today published a ruling

Lawyers representing the teenager said he had been arrested following sectarian disorder in Londonderry several years ago.

They claimed that the publication of such ‘’naming and shaming’’ images, in newspapers and police leaflets, was a human right breach.

Police bosses disputed the teenager’s claim.

They said images were captured for the purpose of identifying people involved in criminal activity and they said the images were not disseminated for any purpose other than the legitimate policing purpose of the prevention and detection of crime.

The Supreme Court today ruled in favour of the police.

Justices said CCTV images were taken of the teenager “in the course of rioting” and later published in newspapers as part of a police campaign designed to identify people involved.

They said publication did interfere with the teenager’s right to a private life but said that interference was justified because it was necessary for the administration of justice and was not excessive.

The teenager, now 18, had asked the UK’s highest court to consider the issue after the Northern Ireland High Court ruled that police had not interfered with his right to private life - which is enshrined in human rights legislation - in 2013.

Supreme Court justices, who said the teenager could not be identified in media reports, unanimously dismissed his appeal.