A Derry teenager has today lost a Supreme Court fight over the PSNI’s use of images of children suspected of being involved in riots or of causing criminal damage.
Judges at the Supreme Court in London had been considering whether police should be allowed to publish such images of children so young.
Lawyers representing the teenager said he had been arrested following sectarian disorder in Derry several years ago.
They claimed that the publication of such “naming and shaming” images, in newspapers and police leaflets, was a human right breach.
However, police rejected this claim.
Lawyers for the PSNI said the images were captured for the purpose of identifying people involved in criminal activity.
They said the images were not distributed for any purpose other than the legitimate policing purpose of the prevention and detection of crime.
The Supreme Court has now ruled in favour of the PSNI and dismissed the teenager’s appeal from the High Court in Belfast.
The Lord 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.
Even though the teenager is now 18, the Supreme Court said he still could not be identified.