The name and shame game

PUBLISHED: 12:12 18 August 2006 | UPDATED: 22:07 28 May 2010

A great idea to keep the public up to speed with those in their community living under the shadow of anti-social behaviour orders. Do what the authorities in Cleveland have done — blow away the unnecessary shadow and have a giant photograph of the offende

A great idea to keep the public up to speed with those in their community living under the shadow of anti-social behaviour orders.

Do what the authorities in Cleveland have done - blow away the unnecessary shadow and have a giant photograph of the offender plastered on the back of a bus.

A 20 year-old petty criminal with a long history of offences, mainly car crime, has become the first Briton to be shamed by having his picture driven around Middlesborough all day for all to see.

He is banned from a large area of the town and that condition of his asbo will obviously be harder to break now the public can see who he is.

Cleveland Police said: "We want to name him so people are aware of the order and to send a message to others."

In the fens we have similar criminals.

Local hooligans named and shamed on the backs of buses plying their trade around Fenland's towns and villages? I'm sure the general view would be that this just might have a long-overdue positive effect on the level of hooliganism in these parts.

And I would like to think we have a legal system that would deal as effectively with this as they seem to do in Cleveland. But somehow I doubt it.

An extension of the name and shame concept, targeting speeding drivers, could also be coming our way after a successful trial on the M42 in the Midlands.

Under this experiment motorists caught speeding at roadworks had their registration numbers flashed up on giant roadside screens along with the instruction to 'slow down'.

The Highways Agency is now considering using these 'screens of shame' alongside major roadworks nationwide, thus avoiding, in most cases anyway, the need for fines and penalty points.

Most drivers, I guess, will happily accept this switch in policy, which seems efficient and effective - and clearly aimed at increasing road safety rather than finding ways to raise cash at the beleaguered motorists' expense.

Which is a far cry from the local response we're likely to get if Fenland's roads are littered with speed cameras under Government plans to cut speeds on rural roads.

Even though I believe enforced speed reductions will make countryside roads safer, many drivers will see the cameras this initiative will generate as an affront, even a challenge. And that's a pity.

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