Police forces 'refuse to name wanted suspects'

The majority of police forces in the UK have refused to name wanted suspects, at least 20 of whom are suspected rapists or murderers, an investigation has found.

Almost half of the 45 forces declined to reveal the identities of suspects on privacy grounds, the Daily Mail said.

Some of the police forces claimed releasing names would breach the individual's rights, according to an FOI request by the newspaper.

The suspects are wanted for crimes including murder, attempted murder, rape and sex offences - some against children.

The request asked police to state how many wanted suspects there are in their force area, and for the names, pictures and details of the 10 who have been wanted for the longest time.

Fourteen forces refused to disclose names on cost grounds, while one said naming suspects was not in the public interest, the paper said.

Two of the 45 forces, Surrey and Northamptonshire, fulfilled the request completely.

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, told the Mail: 'This is absolutely absurd. For the police to protect the rights of criminals rather than the victims of crime is completely wrong."

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