Naming police suspects on social media

MQT on 2017-01-18
Session date: 
January 18, 2017
Question By: 
Siân Berry
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Could you publish any guidelines that are in place within the Metropolitan Police Service for naming suspects of crime and sharing their photographs on social media? What safeguards are in place against defaming innocent people?


Answer for Naming police suspects on social media

Answer for Naming police suspects on social media

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The MPS follows national policing guidance in considering whether to release an image of a wanted offender via mainstream or social media to appeal for the public's help in tracing them.  Any decision is documented and authorised by an officer of the rank of Superintendent or above.  Specific consideration is always given to the proportionality and necessity of releasing the image. That includes the risk posed to the individual, and whether all possible means to trace the individual have been exhausted.

The MPS guidance document is attached as Appendix A.