Skip to main content

Trials: Newspaper Press

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he has made an assessment of the effect that the reporting of the outcome of trials in local newspapers has on deterring criminal activity. (192908)

The Ministry of Justice has made no assessment of this. However, current knowledge suggests that a number of factors may be important in incentivising people not to commit crime:

1. The perceived likelihood of detection and apprehension;

2. The severity of sanction; and

3. An awareness on the part of offenders and potential offenders of 1 and 2 and their ability to act on these.

The most consistently reliable evidence suggests that the CJS most effectively deters crime by increasing the likelihood, or certainty, of punishment. It is therefore possible that reporting of the outcome of trials in the local press could in principle act as a deterrent but there is no rigorous research to demonstrate this one way or the other.