We understand that a key concern of many people who face allegations of internet crime will be the potential publicity. This may mean family, neighbours or friends finding out, work colleagues or the general public. The fear of the case being in the papers or on television is very real and can be a heavy burden in what might already be a fraught time.
Managing and understanding this process is at the heart of our approach. Controlling or influencing the disclosure of a search or investigation might be the first step. Understanding the police approach to disclosure to third parties is very important and sensitive. Our team is well used to dealing with cases in the press. Our media specialist is on hand to advise on issues around the press and the media, in addition to the experience of our practitioners.
Sometimes an application under the Contempt of Court Act can be made to formally prohibit the reporting of the name or identity of a defendant or respondent, if the particular circumstances of the case so demand. In respect of Civil Orders under the Sexual Offences Act, the most recent Home Office Guidance specifically draws attention to the practice of using such applications to prohibit publication, noting the advantages to the police and the public more widely.
There are also a wide variety of practical steps that can be taken to reduce the risks of a particular case being reported, and these are all matters upon which we regularly give advice and guidance.
In any event, understanding and managing the risks of adverse publicity will inevitably form a key platform of our work, forming part of the holistic approach to effective representation in such cases.