Without a doubt, people accused of a criminal offence should retain their anonymity due to a range of factors including: their safety, right to privacy and above all the maintenance of their dignity as human beings despite the potential crimes they committed in the past. Whilst there are some arguments refuting this view as alleged criminals arguably deserve to be publicly named and shamed to account for the negative repercussions this can have on affected parties . On the whole the view that criminals should retain their anonymity is most convincing and this will be proven throughout the essay.
There’s a strong case to be made in favour of the view that people accused of a criminal offence should retain their anonymity because it guaranteed the protection of the accused individual. By releasing the identity of the accused, they are at a high risk of being harassed or attacked as people within communities and societies could decide to take the law into their own hands and enact justice. Although this is based on the assumption that the accused identity would gain widespread notoriety amongst the public; the dangers to the accused if anonymity is not maintained is still very much a high risk especially if the crime committed is particularly extreme and therefore attracts a lot of disapproving and judgemental sentiment from the public. Whilst it could be argued that the accused forfeits all dignity due to the crime they’ve been “accused of committing” it is important to stress that they have merely been accused, not charged, with committing a criminal offence therefore under the law they are innocent till proven guilty and maintain the right to privacy.
Furthermore, by retaining the anonymity of people accused of a criminal offence the family and friends of the accused are also protected from any potential backlashes from member o the community. This suggest that the privacy of the accused is also heavily linked to the privacy of other individuals within their domestic circle especially considering that they bear a family name as well as a first name.
However, it can be imposingly argued that revoking the anonymity of people accused of criminal offences serves to uphold the interest of wider society as this information enhances transparency between the justice system and the public and arguably makes people more likely to trust law enforcement. Based on the assumption that people accused of criminal offences are not immediately taken into police custody, by revoking anonymity member of the public are able to protect themselves from running into any potential harm as they know the identity of the accused and can therefore avoid them.
In addition to this, the public have the right to freedom of information especially if the criminal incident involves a member of their community. In this case it would be right for anonymity of accused criminal to be revoked so they are fully aware of what is happening in their communities. If the person accused of a criminal offence has a victim the family and friends of said victim might also benefit from emotional reprieve if the anonymity of people accused of a criminal offence is removed. Despite this, it is absolutely imperative to stress that people having been “accused” and not charged with these criminal offences and could therefore be innocent of any crime. This means that they deserve the dignity and privacy associated with anonymity so huge disruptions are not made to their lives and the people around. This is the much stronger argument and is a matter of legal principle.
In conclusion, it is credible to assert the view that people accused of a criminal offence should retain their anonymity because as human beings under the law they are considered guilty until proven innocent. Even so, they deserve the right to privacy associated with anonymity as it protects their identity and therefore protects them and their families from harassment or bad attention from the public