Identity Should Remain Anonymous in Sexual Abuse Trials Unless Guilty, Brits Say

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17th September 2014 16:54 - Central Government

According to a recent survey, the majority of Britons believe people who are accused of sexual abuse crimes should only have their identity revealed if they are found to be guilty.

Of the 1,704 British adults questioned, six in 10 (61%) agreed with the above statement - age and gender appeared to have little effect on people’s views.

Around one quarter (26%) said people who are accused of sexual abuse crimes should have their identity revealed only if they are charged - 18 to 24-year-olds (18%) were least likely to agree with this, and 60+ year-olds (31%) were most likely to concur.

Furthermore, less than one in 10 (7%) thought people who are accused of sexual abuse crimes should have their identity revealed once they are accused - UKIP voters (10%) and 60+ year-olds (11%) were most likely to hold this view.

One in 20 (5%) responded by saying they “don’t know,” and 1% said people who are accused of sexual abuse crimes should never have their identity revealed - Liberal Democrat voters (3%) and Scottish residents (3%) were slightly more inclined to agree with this statement.

When questioned about the BBC’s recent coverage of police officers searching Cliff Richard’s home following sexual abuse allegations made against him, more than seven in 10 (72%) of the survey’s respondents said they were wrong to broadcast this coverage. Around one sixth (15%) said the BBC were right to air the coverage and 13% said they did not know.

The research in this insight was conducted by YouGov.

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