Suffolk to watch Essex police campaign

SUFFOLK Police today pledged to watch with interest a poster campaign to name and shame jailbirds in Essex.Anyone sentenced to more than a year in prison, in Brentwood, Essex, could have their names, photographs, crime and length of sentence displayed in restaurants, garages and train stations in the area.

SUFFOLK Police today pledged to watch with interest a poster campaign to name and shame jailbirds in Essex.

Anyone sentenced to more than a year in prison, in Brentwood, Essex, could have their names, photographs, crime and length of sentence displayed in restaurants, garages and train stations in the area.

The scheme is thought to be the first of its kind in the country.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said today: "We have no plans to do anything similar at the moment. It is something we will look at, to see how it works out."

Essex Police said the scheme would be aimed at convicted burglars, car thieves and drug dealers, but that anyone jailed for more than a year would be considered.

A spokesman said: "Anyone receiving a minimum custodial sentence of 12 months will be considered under the scheme.

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"This will ensure that only repeat offenders or those committing more serious crimes will be subject to the campaign."

The convicted criminal and his solicitor will be served with an official notification on the day they are sentenced, explaining that their details are about to be plastered around the town.

They have seven days to object.

Offenders in the process of appealing against their convictions will not be 'named and shamed', the spokesman added.

Each poster will be displayed for a period of about three weeks at railway stations, service stations and other sites.

The scheme is due to begin in a few weeks time but posters warning of its approach have already been put up in the area as an added deterrent.

Sgt Piers Quinnell, based at Brentwood police station, said: "Crimes such as burglary and car theft can bring real misery to those unlucky enough to fall victim and we want to make it perfectly clear that we will not condone it.

"Experience has taught us that criminals can lose their bravado if faced with the prospect of being identified to their friends and neighbours as convicted offenders.

"We believe that this campaign will not only act as a deterrent, particularly to youngsters on the first rung of the criminal ladder, but will also provide reassurance to the residents of Brentwood that this type of activity will not be tolerated."

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